PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Two incidents within minutes of each other at a Long Island food market were captured on surveillance video, and police are searching for a suspect.
As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Friday, a scuffle in the back of a store led to a fight in the front with a shirtless man using a screwdriver as a weapon.
Maria and Nicolas Tavarez opened their food market two years ago on East Main Street in Patchogue.
They installed security cameras, never anticipating a brawl would be recorded before their eyes.
At first, they said they noticed a scuffle at the back of the store. They said they calmed the scene, but five minutes later the suspect returned. This time, the man was shirtless, holding a sharp weapon and repeatedly lunging toward a customer.
“Scared a little bit, yes, because that’s my store,” Maria Tavarez told McLogan.
Even though Tavarez saw the suspect was wielding a screwdriver, she still grabbed him by his pants and underwear to shove him out of the store, McLogan reported.
“Yeah, I was scared,” Tavarez said.
The suspect punctured and slashed the 36-year-old victim, who was hospitalized in serious condition.
“The guy was standing right here all bloodied up and then he threw him down right here,” witness Tony Gugliotti told McLogan.
The suspect then ran off, witnesses said. Police said it’s unclear what sparked the incident.
“She’s brave lady. She’s running a business,” customer Jose Rodriguez told McLogan.
Police said intervening in such an incident is ill-advised.
“I definitely would not recommend getting involved with a person that’s just had a violent altercation. You wouldn’t want to drag him out of the store,” Suffolk County Police Det. Sgt. Bryan McMenemy told McLogan. “She was very lucky that he didn’t turn around and hit her.”
Police are looking for a heavy man with short black hair and a tattoo of barbed wire on his right bicep.
The victim was released from the hospital.
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