SAN LEANDRO, CA - Police are looking for a man who critically injured a California Safeway manager by sucker punching the man in the face.
A store surveillance camera captured the suspect walking into the store Monday morning. He can be seen going up and down the aisles for a couple of minutes before he and the store manager, known by shoppers as Moe, had a brief verbal exchange.
While the conversation has not been officially reported, employees said the suspect told the manager that his wife had lost her purse in the store, and that the manager told him where the store’s lost-and-found was located. Whatever was said between the two, it ended with the suspect knocking the 51-year-old manager to the floor with a sucker punch to the face. Afterwards, the man ran from the store without taking anything.
The manager was taken to the hospital suffering from severe head injuries, where he remained yesterday in critical condition. Friends said he is unable to recognize anyone, including his wife.
Police released the surveillance footage in hopes of someone recognizing the suspect. “We’re pretty confident whoever sees it will recognize the suspect, whether it’s a family member or a friend and hopefully bring that information forward,” San Leandro Police Lt. Randy Brandt said.
Friends and co-workers speak highly of Moe, and say he has been at that Safeway store for about three years. “He’s a good guy, he makes everybody laugh, he tells us stories, he got this place to be a lot more lively,” a co-worker said. “That was very bad,” said longtime customer and friend of the victim. “That could have been my father. That could have been my uncle. He’s a nice manager, just trying to do his job helping the other customers.”
Because of the victim’s medical condition, they had not spoken with him as of yesterday. They are asking anyone with any information to contact the San Leandro Police Department at 510-577-3230 or at the anonymous tip line at 510-577-3278.Tags: Assault, California, Crime, manager, Safeway, sucker punch