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Shoplifter’s Lawsuit Goes After ‘Reckless’ Store Owner

Bryson Dewberry after the incident (credit: CBS)

Bryson Dewberry after the incident (credit: CBS)

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – The lawyer for a 22-year-old musician who was shot through the jaw after allegedly stealing from a liquor store says his client’s life “has been shattered.”

Bryson Dewberry is suing the store owner who shot him in October 2010 for damages of more than $100,000. Chang Ho Yi reportedly chased Dewberry out of Austin Bluffs Plaza Liquor and shot him through the mouth with a handgun after Dewberry allegedly stole a bottle of vodka. Another man was also hit. The lawsuit claims Yi acted recklessly.

The lawsuit was filed in October after prosecutors dropped charges against the store owner. Two separate reviews failed to charge Yi for his actions. Dewberry was also never charged with shoplifting.

“Even if those allegations are true, what we’re talking about is a shopkeeper who was so reckless that he takes it not one step too far, but 10 steps too far,” Dewberry’s attorney David McDivitt told CBS4.

McDivitt said Dewberry has extensive medical bills and was unable to continue on with a music career he was pursuing.

“He had a life. A lot of that was shattered because of the reckless conduct of the part of this guy brandishing a heavy-duty revolver,” McDivitt said.

The case fell outside of the purview of Colorado’s Make My Day law.

“People have a right to own a firearm and defend themselves, but where do they draw the line? Where do they go too far? When do they become so reckless that their actions endanger the lives of others in a way that is unfair to anybody,” McDivitt said.

Yi’s attorney told the Colorado Springs Gazette that his client fired his weapon because he was disoriented from being struck in the head during the incident. That detail though was never told to police in their investigation.

Yi and his attorney declined an invitation to comment.