A department store security guard was arrested and charged with assaulting a black teenager who was accused of shoplifting two pairs of shoes.

New York City police said Saturday that Acosta Wilson, 24, had been arrested and charged, after a video showing him holding down the teenager went viral, an NBC affiliate reported

Brian Fraser witnessed the incident on Friday on the street outside the Century 21 department store in New York, HuffPost reported.

The video, which Fraser reportedly recorded, shows the alleged shoplifter, 19-year-old Victor Roberson, being held down by guards.


“What are you doing? I can’t breathe,” Roberson yells in the video.

Fraser said he saw the security guards walking Roberson down the street with his hands behind his back.

“The next thing I see is the boy being tackled to the ground and a struggle ensued,” Fraser said. “They began choking him and putting their hands over his mouth.”

Fraser said he witnessed the guard punching Roberson until he was bleeding from the mouth and a lump appeared on his forehead. 

“They picked him up and pinned him against the wall when one of the security guards hit him again,” Fraser told HuffPost.

Witnesses are seen in the footage trying to intervene, begging the security guards to "stop choking him."

Other employees nearby asked them to stop filming. 

The New York City Police Department told the outlet that officers were called to the scene after reports that someone had illegally shoplifted items out of the store in his backpack.

Police said a store employee followed Roberson out and “engaged him in a physical altercation” while trying to detain him.

After the footage went viral, the police arrested Wilson for assault, according to NBC.

Roberson was taken to the hospital and treated for neck and back pain.

He was also arrested and charged with petit larceny and possession of stolen goods.

Police told ABC 7 News in New York that two pairs of Prada shoes, valued at $850, were found inside his backpack.

Century 21 Executive Director of Stores Larry Mentzer released a statement Saturday saying they were taking the situation very seriously.

“The asset protection team member involved in the apprehension of the alleged shoplifter has been suspended pending an investigation,” the statement read. “We will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement."

Earlier this week, a police officer in Wauwatosa, Wis., was recorded repeatedly punching a black teenager in the face while another officer was restraining the boy.