lake view

Neighbors Demand Answers in Death of Man Accused of Shoplifting at Jewel

Eugenio Escriba Guzman, 56, was detained for shoplifting at a Lake View Jewel on Nov. 20

Community members in Chicago's Lake View neighborhood gathered Saturday evening to remember a man who was found unresponsive after being detained for shoplifting at a Jewel-Osco store and to demand answers in his death. 

At approximately 6:45 p.m. on Nov. 20, Chicago police officers were called to the Jewel-Osco on North Broadway, and found Eugenio Escriba Guzman, 56, who was unresponsive. Guzman was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

The Lake View resident had alllegedly stuffed toiletries into his bag, and tried to leave without paying. Store security reportedly handcuffed him and called 911, but Guzman was slumped over when officers arrived. 

Guzman's nephew, Alberado Escriba, said his uncle experienced mental illness. Escriba remembered Guzman - a teacher and member of Chicago's LGBTQ community - as someone who was always there for him and his sister. 

"He was a very happy man.. very joyful," Escriba said. "...That news broke our hearts. I never expected something like that to happen to him." 

In a statement to NBC 5, a Jewel-Osco spokeswoman said the company continues to "to work with Chicago police on the investigation into the death of Eugenio Escriba Guzman," and added their condolences go out to the Guzman family.

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