Family and friends sat stoically in Lodi court Thursday as they learned bail would be doubled to $100,000 for the store owner who shot a Lodi man in the shoulder as he was walking out without paying for a case of beer.
Gurminder “Gary” Parmar, 48, faces one count of assault with a deadly weapon after he shot 21-year-old Lodi resident Christopher Driggers, who was accused of trying to walk out of Tokay Liquors on Tuesday night without paying for a 12-pack of Platinum Budweiser, a case of beer that costs about $15 total.
Because Parmar shot Driggers, Parmar’s charge included an enhancement due to the fact that he caused great bodily injury to the suspected beer thief.
According to court documents, surveillance video from Tokay Liquor shows Parmar reaching into his pocket, pulling out a handgun and loading it with rounds before firing one shot at Driggers.
Parmar’s wife, Satnam Parmar, said her husband had purchased a gun after he was robbed at gunpoint by a gang member while working at Tokay Liquors in January 2011.
Parmar’s bail was originally set at $50,000, but due to the enhancement, it was doubled by Judge Lauren Thomasson to $100,000 per the bail schedule.
However, Parmar’s family said they had pooled money together and were planning on bailing him out later Thursday.
Parmar’s family is currently helping run the liquor store with Satnam Parmar. According to family members, the Parmars have received lots of support with running the business as well as taking care of the Parmar’s young boys.
Parmar’s attorney, Russell Humphrey, who was appointed during the arraignment hearing, said Parmar has a fighting chance in court.
Humphrey said the odds favor Parmar, not only because he believed Parmar was not a threat to the public, but because Driggers admitted to police and on a television interview that he had stolen the beer.
According to Humphrey, Parmar told him Driggers had come into Tokay Liquors before and stolen from the store.
Attempts to reach Driggers were unsuccessful.
Driggers was a 2009 graduate of Lodi High School. He is currently listed as a private first class in the U.S. Army on his Facebook page. He is an automated logistical specialist, it states, and manages warehouse supplies, inventory and the loading and unloading of shipments, among other tasks.
A U.S. Army spokeswoman at the Pentagon on Thursday was unable to provide any information on Driggers' status by press time.
Parmar is expected to be back in Lodi court for a preliminary hearing on June 6 at 9 a.m. He is then scheduled to move to court in Stockton on June 12 at 8:30 a.m. in Dept. 35.
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.