An eye witness to the attack, Zoe Marks, on visit from Edinburgh, Scotland where she lectures at the University of Edinburgh, gave an eyewitness account of the assault on her Facebook, posting graphic images of the victim. She told the Oakland Tribune that she saw the argument between the cashier and the victim as he was trying to use an EBT card (a food stamp card that works like a debit card), but said that the victim wasn’t “shouting,” nor was her “violent or disruptive.” In fact, Marks said the man wasn’t a threat to anyone and that she felt “safe” until the armed security guard came and “attacked him.”
In a Facebook status Marks described the “violent assault,” saying the guard “slammed” the victim against “concrete pillars.” He also allegedly put the man in a chokehold and “suffocated” him before throwing him on the ground unconscious. Then the guard reportedly locked the man out of the store despite the fact that he was unconscious.
She said none of the employees called the paramedics, instead they called for backup.
Marks reportedly spoke to the victim as she tried to keep him conscious, as well as the security guard, other eyewitnesses and police to give her account.
Here’s Marks' post about the incident. Warning: Graphic images below.
Oakland Police are currently investigating the attack. They said that the victim remains in stable condition at a local hospital.
Whole Foods has since released a statement via spokeswoman Beth Krauss:
Krauss also added that the security guard has been "permanently removed from Whole Foods Market."