Justice Department prosecutors charged a man Monday with robbing and brutally assaulting the owner of a Wilmington jewelry store in September 2022, officials said Tuesday.
Calvin Ushery, Jr., 39, is charged with multiple crimes, including Assault 1st Degree for attack. Prosecutors allege that Ushery whipped the victim with a pistol before jumping off the counter, kicking or stomping on his head, robbing the store and attacking the victim with a hammer before fleeing the store . The incident was filmed.
“This assault was brutal, cowardly and deeply disturbing,” Attorney General Jennings said. “These are major crimes with serious consequences. We never choose these charges lightly, but they are entirely appropriate given the facts. At 68, the victim was not only stripped of his livelihood but viciously attacked with a deadly weapon and hospitalized with devastating injuries. He and his family deserve what any of us would want in our place: full justice under the law. I am grateful to the prosecutors and the Wilmington Police Department who investigated this case and brought it to trial; to the Suh family for their courage and strength and to our community for rallying around the victim in times of need.
Ushery faces seven counts, including six felonies:
- Flight 1st Diploma, a class B violent felony
- Assault 1st Diploma, a class B violent felony
- Two counts of possession of a deadly weapon while committing a felony, a Class B violent felony
- Two counts of possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, a non-violent Class F felony
- Criminal mischief, a class A misdemeanor
If convicted on all counts, Ushery faces a sentence of 8 to 107 years in prison.
Assistant Attorneys General Karin Volker and Sam Kenney obtained Ushery’s indictment following an investigation by the Wilmington Police Department.
Just after 10:40 a.m. on Thursday, September 15, 2022, Wilmington police were dispatched to 109 W 9th Street, the Solid Gold Jewelers, for reports of a robbery in progress.
When officers arrived on the scene, they found the owner badly beaten. Wilmington police did not release details of the theft at the time. The owner’s son recently took to social media to try to raise awareness of the incident.
From a Gofundme set up for father’s medical bills:
“Hello, my name is Steve and I am a Korean-American entrepreneur. So is my father. Everything I have achieved in life I owe to him. Now he is suffering.
My father came to this country with the hope of economic promise. For years he worked 12 hour days as a cashier and saved. Used his savings to open a small grocery store, then finally a jewelry store called Solid Gold. This store holds a special place for my family. It allowed me to go to college and provided a place for my brother, a veteran, after he returned from overseas battered and lost. My dad loves this store and he loves the community around it. He loves his customers and I would like to think that there is mutual admiration and respect for every gold chain on the counter.
Things have never been as difficult as they have recently been. We were just passing through during the covid pandemic and then the nasty opportunists during the George Floyd protests looted the store and left him virtually nothing. My father, however, persevered. His clients were happy to find him. Then someone violently robbed the store.
He first whipped him with a pistol. Then he stamped his foot when my dad tried to get up. Then finally beat him in the head 28 times with two such blows with a deadly hammer.
My father was seriously injured. He was seriously ill in intensive care after suffering internal bleeding in his head and a severe concussion. He spent 4 days there before heading to a rehabilitation center. He relearns to do the most basic things like walking, reading and talking. My father is 68 years old and his “American dream” came to an abrupt end.
There was no media coverage of this crime despite its horrific nature. With so much violence against Asians lately, I find it hard to understand why no one seems to care.
Fortunately, the suspect is now in custody on $130,000 bond. He has a long criminal history but the charges against him are weak. The robbery could have been a simple robbery, but I believe that person’s hatred/anger led to the many unnecessary blows to my father’s head. We want justice done and this violent man off the streets before he hurts someone else.
I’m starting this campaign to help pay my dad’s medical bills, help my dad retire, and raise awareness about his case so we can seek justice. Any excess funds will be shared to support local organizations/nonprofits that support city safety and Asian-American hate crime groups.