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Shoplifter Dies From Worker's Chokehold, Cops Say There Won't Be Charges

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UPDATE (5/11/10) An off-duty officer was on the scene as the man was choked to death. Check out the full update here.

A shoplifting suspect died Saturday after a CVS manager restrained him and choked him while waiting for police, reports the Chicago Sun-Times:

Chased out of the store and down a litter-strewn alley shortly before 11 a.m., the 35-year-old unemployed barber was strangled to death by a CVS employee who had seen him shoplifting, officials said.

Witnesses said Kyser, of the 1400 block of South Hamlin, cried, "I can't breathe, I can't breathe!" as the CVS worker held him in a chokehold for what they thought was several minutes.

Chicago Police will not press charges against the unnamed CVS manager, despite a medical examiner's finding that man's death was a homicide, reports MyFoxChicago.

The alleged shoplifter, Anthony Kyser, was accused of stealing tooth paste and crayons, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Kyser was 35 and known as "Pops" to his three former step-children, reports the Chicago Tribune. Kyser's ex-wife Ann Marie Balboa questioned the police department's decision not to press charges against the CVS manager:

"How's it accidental?" Balboa said. "You're choking the [expletive] out of somebody. He [the employee] should be fired. He should be facing criminal charges. You don't take someone's life over toothpaste."

CVS has placed the employee on leave while the incident is investigated.