PASADENA, Calif. (PIX11) — A Southern California mother has filed a lawsuit claiming her son was so emotionally devastated by his firing that he took his own life.
Graham Gentles, 22, jumped to his death from the roof of a hotel in Monrovia, Calif. His mother said it happened after Gentles was humiliated by store managers at the Pasadena Target where he worked during a practice known as “the walk of shame.”
“His life had been destroyed at that moment,” Virginia Gentles told PIX11 News sister station KTLA.
Graham Gentles worked at a cashier until he was fired in July 2014. Soon after, he was arrested when he returned to the store.
His mother said her son — who was diagnosed with Asperger’s, a form of autism — did not understand why he was being treated that way.
Since Gentles came forward with her story, at least one other family said their child with Asperger’s received the same treatment by Target managers.
In a statement, the store said:
“The allegations in the lawsuit of a Target policy or practice are simply not true. There is no such policy. As this is pending litigation, we don’t have further comment at this time.”