Disturbing footage released by the New York Police Department (NYPD) shows an alleged shoplifter wielding a hammer at an elderly laundromat employee who was attempting to stop the suspect.
The attack happened on August 4 at approximately 4:55 a.m. inside the Aqua Wash laundromat at 255 E 98 Street in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Watch: (Warning– Graphic Content)
?WANTED-ROBBERY: 8/4/22 approx. 4:55AM, inside 255 E 98 St @NYPD73PCT Brooklyn. The suspect hit a 70-year-old employee that attempted to stop him from stealing items from the laundromat. Any info call us at 800-577-TIPS or use https://t.co/TRPPY5zHV2 Reward up to $3,500 pic.twitter.com/vHC3YXOTaQ
— NYPD Crime Stoppers (@NYPDTips) August 10, 2022
Security footage captured the suspect entering and observing the store before going off camera.
He then reappears with a hammer and a bag before walking to the back of the store and grabbing what appears to be a few bottles of bleach.
In off-camera footage before the suspect had picked up the hammer, police say the suspect was attempting to steal other items, per WABC.
A 70-year-old employee, identified as Eion Azore, claimed he tried to stop the suspect with the hammer at first.
“I picked up the hammer, initially,” Azore told WABC. “But the hammer fell out of [my] hands because I didn’t have the perfect grip.”
Surveillance footage then captures the elderly employee bravely attempting to wrestle the hammer and stolen items away, but the suspect uses the hammer to hit the elderly man what appears to be four times.
Azore is then seen attempting to trip the suspect up and is mildly successful as the man falls with bottles dropping on the floor.
However, the 70-year-old man slipped, and the alleged thief is seen getting up and taking off with the hammer in hand.
“I would have beat his [expletive] if I hadn’t slipped,” Azore said. “I slipped and fell. If I hadn’t, that son of a [expletive] might be dead by now.”
Azore was treated by medics for cuts on his head, according to police via the New York Daily News.
The NYPD is searching for the suspect, who was seen in the video wearing a gold Yankees cap, a green shirt, and red shorts.
There is a $3,500 reward for any information that leads to the suspect’s arrest.
The alleged crime occurred in the 73rd Precinct, an area containing the Brownsville and Ocean Hill neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Since last year, the precinct has seen a 34.3 percent spike in violent crimes overall.
There has been an 18.9 percent increase in felony assaults, a 43.4 percent increase in grand larceny, and a 53.9 increase in burglary from August 2021 within the 73rd Precinct.
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.