Brutal assault of Wilmington store owner raises questions family members – The News Journal - eComEmpireStore + Brought to You By: Robert Villapane Ramos

Brutal assault of Wilmington store owner raises questions family members – The News Journal

The owner of Solid Gold Jewelers has been through a lot in the 35 years he’s been in business.His downtown Wilmington store has been robbed “a number” of times, and two years ago the coronavirus pandemic and statewide shutdowns left him barely able to scrape by. Then when rallies decrying the killing of George Floyd […]



The owner of Solid Gold Jewelers has been through a lot in the 35 years he’s been in business.
His downtown Wilmington store has been robbed “a number” of times, and two years ago the coronavirus pandemic and statewide shutdowns left him barely able to scrape by. Then when rallies decrying the killing of George Floyd devolved into riots, the jewelry store was looted, leaving him with little inventory.
But until recently, when the 68-year-old was brutally attacked during a mid-morning robbery, his business has always been able to recover.
That may no longer be the case.
The man, whom Delaware Online/The News Journal is not identifying because he is the victim of a crime, remains hospitalized following the Sept. 15 attack. While he has been moved out of the intensive care unit and into a rehabilitation hospital, he is re-learning how to walk and talk, said his son Steve Suh.
Suh gave Delaware Online/The News Journal permission to use his name, given the accused attacker was arrested last week.
His family is shaken by the robbery.
Beyond his father’s physical scars − the man was pistol-whipped and struck more than two-dozen times, including with a hammer to the point of unconsciousness − Suh’s mother is “emotionally drained.” The mental anguish and worry are also taking a physical toll on her body, Suh said.
Suh’s brother, a disabled combat veteran, is struggling to come to grips with the attack on his father. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and the robbery has been “very challenging” for him.
And Suh, who believes “the business is done” − he said he doesn’t want his father working at the store “ever again” − worries how his parents will afford to retire.
“He’s already mentioned he wants to move to Korea to retire with my mom, and I feel like it’s safer over there,” Suh said. “There (aren’t) the guns you have to worry about here. I just want my dad to be in peace and live a good rest of his life.”
Suh said some of the items stolen in the robbery have been recovered but the majority are still missing. He believes that if Wilmington Police had alerted the public to the robbery sooner, more inventory might have been found. They’ve only recovered about 10% to 15% of what was stolen.
“It’s been very frustrating for us,” Suh said. “We saw what was posted to the police department’s website and it was nothing significant in our eyes.”
Wilmington Police did not publicize the incident until last Friday, more than a week after the robbery occurred. The agency also did not provide any details about the brutality of the crime, saying only that police “responded to the 100 block of West 9th Street for a robbery that had occurred” and that an arrest had been made.
CrimeMapping.com, an online map that is supposed to provide information about crime going on in Wilmington, also does not come close to explaining the savagery of this incident.
The website has an entry for assaults, which is usually a fist icon. In those entries, police are typically able to specify if it’s an assault or the more severe aggravated assault. But in its entry for the Sept. 15 attack, the robbery is categorized as a possession of a weapon and has a gun icon for the incident.
READ:Madison Sparrow: How two people she once loved committed the ultimate betrayal
While Wilmington police do not manually enter data into the map, a spokesperson for the Florida-based online service previously told Delaware Online/The News Journal that each police agency makes the decision of which records to release on CrimeMapping.com.
Police spokesperson David Karas did not explain why there was a delay in notifying the public about the incident. He said, in an email, “the charges in the release we issued last week speak to the severity of the incident and the actions of the suspect we have arrested and charged.”
Suh said his family is thankful the crime is now “getting the attention that it should have seen from the very beginning.”
But that’s just one step in the right direction, he said − his father still has a long recovery ahead.
The attack occurred just after 9:40 a.m. on Sept. 15, a Thursday.
Surveillance video from the jewelry store shows a man, whom police later identified as Calvin Ushery, walking into the business and pulling out a handgun. After pointing it at Suh’s father, the video shows Ushery attack the 68-year-old, beating him several times until he falls onto the floor, where he is bleeding and unconscious.
The video then shows Ushery climbing over the display case and stomping on Suh’s father multiple times before stealing much of the store’s jewelry.
At one point, Suh’s father begins to move and Ushery is seen on video stomping on him again. After about 20 minutes in the store, the video shows Ushery leaving on a black mountain bike.
After Suh’s father regained consciousness, he dialed 911. When police arrived, they found “a large pool” of blood behind the smashed counter along with a pair of broken glasses. Suh’s father spoke with officers briefly before again losing consciousness. He was rushed to the hospital, where he spent four days in the ICU.
Local business owners who spoke with Delaware Online/The News Journal said they had no idea what had happened until after the attack.
Michael Flood, owner of Shoe Tech, Inc., located next door to the jewelry store, said he was working the morning of the robbery. But because the business keeps its doors closed, “nobody was the wiser” about what was happening until it was too late.
Flood said he’s known Suh’s father for many years. While he was skeptical the store would be successful when it was first opened, it quickly became one of the busiest shops on the street.
Flood said Suh’s father was also one of the nicest owners in the neighborhood.
“He’s the greatest guy on this block,” Flood said.
Because of its merchandise, Flood said he wasn’t surprised that the jewelry store would be robbed. However, the violence “was a shocker.”
“If you rob somebody, that’s low enough,” Flood said. “He brutally assaulted this guy and left him for dead, more or less, and went about his business.”
Another nearby business owner who did not want to be identified said he’s known Suh’s family for 15 years. He said he was concerned by the lack of transparency about the robbery from police, especially as matters of public safety affect his business and employees as well.
According to court records, one week after robbing the store, 39-year-old Ushery tried to sell the stolen jewelry to two pawn shops on North Market Street but was denied both times. The owner of the second pawn shop called Wilmington police, informing them that a man tried to pawn “a large quantity of jewelry.” 
Detectives reviewed surveillance footage from both pawn shops and found that the man who attempted to sell to them had the same height, weight and “distinct gait” as the man who robbed Solid Gold Jewelers, court records show. He was also wearing a golden cross necklace that had been stolen from the store.
Officers began canvassing the area and found Ushery in Wilmington’s Eleventh Street Bridge neighborhood. He was trying to sell the stolen jewelry to a woman on the street, court documents show, and he ran away when he saw police.
After a brief chase, Wilmington police caught Ushery and found a black bag full of stolen jewelry, which had been divided up into Ziploc bags. The items included: 106 earrings, 62 rings, 55 chains, four bracelets, two watches and 12 necklaces, records show.
Suh’s family later identified them as store inventory.
Police also spoke with the woman Ushery was selling to, who said she’d paid him $300 in exchange for a plastic grocery bag of gold and silver necklaces. 
When detectives later searched Ushery’s home, they found a black bicycle that matched what video surveillance showed the suspect leaving on after the robbery. His grandmother told police the bike belonged to Ushery.
He was charged with robbery, two gun charges and criminal mischief and given $130,000 cash bail. He remains in prison − something Suh’s family said brings them some level of comfort.
“My dad is one of the most caring, loving people I know and he’s a very well-liked person,” Suh said. “To have one person come in and just unnecessarily beat my dad, eventually using a hammer twice, I mean who does that?
“It’s just inhumane.”
Suh has set up a GofundMe page to help his father. It can be found at gofundme.com/f/robbery-and-aggravated-assault-in-wilmington-de.
Reporter Esteban Parra contributed to this report.
Got a story tip or idea? Send to Isabel Hughes at ihughes@delawareonline.com. For all things breaking news, follow her on Twitter at @izzihughes_ Send story tips or ideas to Hannah Edelman at hedelman@delawareonline.com. For more reporting, follow them on Twitter at @h_edelman.

source

storefronts06-20
US