Edgewater store manager speaks about pepper spray robbery

April 30, 2014 (CHICAGO)

It happened Monday at the Bestcom Wireless on North Broadway in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood.

The store manager said that he was working in the store when two women walked in and said they wanted to buy their 14-year-old sister a birthday present. He got out about $1,600 worth of cell phones and quickly learned it was a ruse.

"Out of nowhere, I take out one phone and I get sprayed," said Amir Kishta, store manager. "I was shocked. I couldn't believe it. I wasn't worried about the phones. I got mad because they sprayed me."

The women bolted out of the BestCom Wireless store in Edgewater. Kishta was a few steps behind them. The women, later identified as Alleysia Ariel and Ellen Phillips, jumped into a van.

"I'm about to jump in the van right behind them, and then I see two guys," said Kishta. "I'm like, I can't do that, I'm half blind, I can't breathe, I'm choking."

Later, Deandre Loveless and Kyle Samuels were also arrested. Even though Kishta's skin and eyes are burning, he managed to get the van's license plate number.

"I just start screaming out the plate numbers so I don't forget it," said Kishta.

Chicago police arrived and within 20 minutes, Kishta says police stopped the van. Injuries and all, he rushed to the scene and Kishta said to police: "That's the one that sprayed me, that's the one who said it was her sister's birthday, that's the passenger, and that's the driver."

His brother, K.C. has a hint of guilt because he was off on Monday.

"It really worried me that I couldn't be here for him," said K.C. Kishta, store owner.

But Kishta is forgiving. Just listen to how he talks about the suspects.

"I don't know how their lives have been, everybody makes mistakes and people learn. The worst person in the world can become one of the best people in the world. So you never know," said Kishta.

The four suspects, the two women and two men waiting for them in a car, were arrested and charged with armed robbery. The Kishta brothers say they often help people in the community, giving them food, even sometimes paying for their cell phone bills. They say they only wish the suspects would have asked for help first.

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