Phoenix man steals case of beer, dies after being tackled by security

PHOENIX - Rudy Martinez is grieving the loss of his son, Manuel Martinez.

"I love him and I miss him, and I wouldn't have let him done that if I knew he was going to," said Martinez. "It's just like a bad dream, like a nightmare."

The incident happened August 31 at the Circle K on 83rd Avenue and Camelback Road in Phoenix.

"We stopped at the store," said Martinez. "He walked outside the store and I remember him coming out with some beer."

It was beer that Manuel Martinez didn't pay for.

"He came out with a 24-pack of beer that he had stolen from that location," said Sgt. Tommy Thompson with the Phoenix Police Department.

Manuel's father says he had no idea what his son had planned to do. "He had money, I had money, I didn't know he was going to do that."

Rudy Martinez sat in the car watching in horror as security guards tackled Manuel Martinez outside the store. That's when his son hit his head on the concrete. The 25-year-old died at the hospital three days later.

Manuel's brother, Ruben Ruelas, says his ultimate punishment doesn't fit the crime.

"I don't know what happened," said Ruelas. "My concerns are, why did they hit him that strong?"

Police say this loss of life was 100 percent preventable.

"I think the family needs to keep in mind that this man was committing a crime," said Sgt. Thompson. "Had he not stolen the beer, there would be no need for the security guard to take him into custody."

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