Toronto

2 charges dropped against Chinatown grocer

Toronto's David Chen, the Chinatown grocery store owner arrested in May after he caught a shoplifter, has had two charges against him dropped.

Toronto's David Chen, the Chinatown grocery store owner arrested in May after he caught a shoplifter, has had two charges against him dropped.

The move came Tuesday morning in a courtroom in Toronto's Old City Hall. 

Crown prosecutors dropped charges of kidnapping and possession of a dangerous weapon — but said they will proceed with the other charges of forcible confinement and assault.

Chen's arrest received national attention after he caught a man he suspected of having stolen plants from his store, the Lucky Moose, on Dundas Street West, in the heart of Chinatown. 

Chen, 35, and two employees tied the man up, but when police arrived, they arrested Chen and charged him with kidnapping, carrying a dangerous weapon — a boxcutter — assault and forcible confinement.

Chen's supporters argued he was just trying to protect his business and that anytime store owners in Chinatown try to make a citizen's arrest they run into trouble with the law. 

Anthony Bennett, pleaded guilty in August to stealing from Chen's store and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. On Tuesday, prosecutor Colleen Hepburn said the Crown will proceed to trial on the outstanding charges against Chen next June.

Outside the courthouse Chen thanked supporters who showed up for his appearance and said he felt "good because they dropped [some of ] the charges."