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Caught on Camera: Attacker Wields Liquor Bottles, Clerk Fights Back With Spade

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A man wielding bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey and vodka was captured on a liquor store surveillance camera tossing the full bottles at a clerk, who chased after the man and whacked at him with a garden spade. Michelle Roberts reports. (Published Thursday, Jun 26, 2014)

    A man wielding bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey and vodka was captured on a liquor store surveillance camera tossing the full bottles at a clerk, who chased after the man and whacked at him with a garden spade.

    The video is especially graphic, showing a clear view of a young man, wearing a black cap and California-themed T-shirt, yelling at the clerk, grabbing cigarettes from the overhead counter, walking around with a case of Bud and appearing to threaten the clerk with the booze.

    The video was recorded June 16 at Tip Top Liquor in the 400 block of Bascom Avenue in San Jose.

    Santa Clara County Sheriff's Sgt. Kurt Stenderup released the video Thursday, noting he had edited out the end, which showed the attacker pummeling the clerk, before being pulled off by a customer who broke up the fight. The suspect sped off in a white car, and the clerk suffered minor injuries.

    "He just started chucking bottles at him," Stenderup said of the suspect, noting that aside from Jack Daniels, Smirnoff and Skyy Vodka were also waved about.

    The violence began, according to the video and clerk, when the man entered the store and picked up a case of beer, approaching the counter as though he were going to pay for it. He then asked the clerk how much a bottle of liquor was from behind the counter.

    When the clerk went to check the price, the man went behind the counter and started grabbing bottles of liquor and cigarettes, as seen on the video.

    “Every time they throw a bottle it constitutes as a new act,” Stenderup said. “Potentially, we are looking at multiple charges of assault with a deadly weapon.”

    The clerk confronted the man, who became angry, and can be seen in the video holding the liquor bottles over his head as if about to hit the clerk.

    The clerk can then be seen in the video chasing after the man, going after him with a spade.

    “I feel [he was] very brave to help their fellow citizen and their neighborhood,” said Benita Espinoza, who lives near the liquor store. “We need more people like that.”

    The suspect is described as a man standing 5'8" tall and weighing 160 to 180 pounds, with black curly hair in a ponytail and a mustache. He was wearing a backwards black hat with "SF" written on it. He was wearing a black T-shirt that said "CALI LIFE" on the front.

    Anyone with information on the identity of this suspect, please contact the Santa Clara Sheriff's Office at 408-808-4431.