Queens Liquor Store Owner Faces Prison Time For Shooting Shoplifter

A liquor store owner in Queens is facing up to seven years in prison after shooting a shoplifting suspect who attacked him in a confrontation caught on camera. The incident has sparked controversy with some critics calling for the charges against the store owner to be dropped.

Francisco Valerio 53 and his brother Luis allegedly caught two suspects trying to steal bottles of liquor from Franja Wines and Liquors in Ridgewood around 7:45 p.m. on Monday according to police and store surveillance footage. The Valerios confronted the suspects identified as Kevin Pullutasi and Edwin Paiquiza both 20 and escorted them out of the store.

The altercation escalated outside the store, where Pullutasi charged at the door and traded punches and kicks with Valerio, who then stepped outside and took a swing with his right hand which held a gun. The weapon fired, striking Pullutasi in the stomach.

Valerio is facing several charges, including second and third-degree assault. The United Bodegas of America has called for the charges against Valerio to be dropped, declaring that he is an “honorable man in society” who was defending his store from repeated robberies.

In the end, this story is about the privilege granted by the U.S. government for an American to protect their property from the many criminals who would take or destroy it when the government is unable or unwilling to help. The reality, seen time and time again, is that there is not guarantee that defending oneself, others or property in general could lead to expensive defense attorneys and potentially jail. The dangers of a government that attempts to monopolize authority to defend or protect could turn out more dangerous than a government that doesn’t insert itself into the situation at all.