An Orange County family just settled a major lawsuit against Simon Property Group and a security company after their son was killed outside the Waterford Lakes Town Center.
But it was the actions of two mall security guards that led to the teenager’s death.
Raheem Key, 15, was being chased by two security guards at the Waterford Lakes Town Center when he was killed.
Gregory Melvin and Rafael Casteneda tried to hold the teenager because his pants were sagging, which is a violation of the mall’s dress code.
Mary Dillard watched as the teenager was hit by the SUV in front of her.
“This person came flying from off the back of the wheels of the truck, and I screeched on the brakes and started screaming,” said Dillard.
The teenager was running through the back side of the mall, and he was likely headed home because he lived in the apartment complex right across the street.
It’s been two years, but the family just settled a civil lawsuit with Simon Property Group and Mydatt Services, which operates the security company.
The actual amount is sealed, but the family originally asked for $20 million.
The judge found there was enough evidence to show the security guards “acted with culpable negligence showing reckless disregard of human life.”
The same standard is used to justify manslaughter charges.
The security guards testified that the teenager had not committed any crime and admitted he was unlawfully detained.
“There appears to be an abundance of information to support probable cause for both false imprisonment and possibly manslaughter charges,” said WFTV’s legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.
The Florida Highway Patrol, which was the lead agency, determined there wasn’t enough evidence to determine criminal charges and in a letter obtained by WFTV, the sheriff’s office said the same.
“Law enforcement’s duty is to find whether there is probable cause to bring a charge against the person and then send that to the State Attorney’s Office,” said Sheaffer.
The family said they want to know why neither security guard was charged, even though the judge in the case said there was enough evidence to show negligence.