TORRANCE ( — The man accused of robbing a cigar shop in Manhattan Beach and slashing an employee’s throat pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges Tuesday.

Tyler Lee Rodgers, 18, is charged with one felony count each of attempted murder, second-degree robbery and kidnapping to commit another crime.

The incident happened around 4 p.m. Aug. 16 at The Cigar and Smoke Shop on Artesia Boulevard.

Police said the suspect pulled a gun out of a cardboard box and demanded money from an employee. The robber handcuffed the victim in a back room while he took money from a cash box.

The suspect then came back and sliced the employee’s throat with a knife, according to officials.

Rodgers was arrested Aug. 24.

The clerk is recovering after surgery to his neck.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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