LAKEWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Authorities are searching for a man who assaulted a female gas station clerk in Lakewood earlier this month.
The incident, which was caught on camera, happened around 1:15 p.m. Sept. 7 at a Chevron station at 4910 Lakewood Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
A 23-year-old woman named “Yadira,” who didn’t wish to appear on-camera, said the suspect handed her a $1 bill for a $1.41 Swisher Sweets cigar.
“He just says, ‘Well, this is all I have….(expletive) whatever.’ And I was like, ‘You need to get out of the store.’ I was like, ‘I’m sorry.’ And he tries to snatch it,” said Yadira.
The victim said that’s when the suspect punched her in the face, injuring her eye.
“It just happened so fast. My reaction, I didn’t think he would hit me. And he just socks me,” Yadira said.
Detectives said the man took off and none of the other customers jumped into action right away.
“I’m sure they were surprised by his actions as he walked out of the store. A few of them were worried about the clerk,” said Sgt. Steven Moses.
Yadira said she’s now fearful every time she goes to work.
“Really, over 41 cents? Imagine if he got like that…imagine what else would have happened. That’s the thing that came to my head. I hope it doesn’t ever happen to anybody,” she said. “There are cowards out there that are willing to do stupid stuff.”
The alleged assailant was described as black, between 35 to 45 years old, 6 feet to 6 feet 4 inches tall, between 215 to 225 pounds, with short black hair, a slight mustache and a beard.
Anyone with information about the crime was encouraged to contact the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station at (562) 623-3500.