Man in wheelchair attacked at Pleasant Hill Target

Bay Area

PLEASANT HILL (KRON) — An East Bay man is speaking out Monday night on a disturbing incident at a Target, where a man flipped him out of his wheelchair.

“He just got behind me and started to push me out of the store and I grabbed onto my wheels real tight and he picked me up in my wheelchair and he dumped me out of my wheelchair,” said Phillip Kensler. 

The violent assault happened back on Jan. 11 inside of the Target store in Pleasant Hill. 

The victim, 52-year-old Phillip Kensler, says the incident started in the parking lot after noticing a vehicle illegally occupying a spot reserved for disabled customers. 

He says he talked to a female in the vehicle who in turn relayed the conversation to the man in the video,  who he says confronted him in the store.

“He says you need to apologize to my girlfriend and I didn’t know what to say,” Kensler said. 

When he didn’t say he was sorry, the assault occurred. 

Pleasant Hill Police Lt. Scott Vermillion says the investigation led to the arrest of 32-year-old Jimmie Tiger of San Ramon who was charged with felony attempted kidnapping and assault

“Our detective bureau became aware of this case and saw the video. This quickly reached the top in priority,” Vermillon said. 

The Deputy Director of the Center for Independent Living Thomas Gregory says  the world health organization collects data on these types of crimes

“The W.H.O. study regarding adults says they are 1.5 times more likely to be victims of violence than non disabled adults and adults with mental illness are 3.9 times likely to be victims of violence,” Gregory said. 

“My whole body fell down on top of my wrist. They had to put a titanium plate and titanium screws,” Kensler said.

That will impact this multi-instrumentalist’ ability of doing what he loves, playing music. 

His prognosis for recovery is uncertain, however he says he is just glad that suspect has been arrested and charged.

“I’m glad that they got him because I don’t want him to hurt anyone else,” Kensler said. 

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