FREEPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There was a big scare this week at a Nassau County grocery store, when a security guard confronted a suspected shoplifter and was nearly attacked with a meat cleaver.

The terrifying encounter on Tuesday night was captured on surveillance video, and CBS2’s Ilana Gold spoke exclusively with the victim.

The video from Compare Foods on Merrick Road in Freeport showed a man in the frozen foods section around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

As seen in the video, the allegedly man took food from the cases and put it in a shopping cart, and then pushed the cart between the displays. He allegedly then took off his backpack, threw the groceries in, and walked out of the store off camera without paying, Gold reported.

At the exit door, a security guard said he confronted the man – and a violent confrontation ensued.

“It was scary, because it was the first time I’ve been dealing with a situation like that,” said the security guard, who did not want to be identified. He said he feared for his life “a little bit.”

Michael Everett, 55, has been charged in the incident. Police alleged Everett pulled out a meat cleaver from his waistband and tried to attack the security guard.

“It was so close. When he pulled it, I grabbed his hands, and I was scared a little bit,” the security guard said.

The two got until a struggle, but the guard made sure the man did not get away, and police made the arrest.

“I got to protect the customer,” he said. “I got to protect the store.”

Workers at the store told CBS2 this was actually the suspect’s third time at the store Tuesday night. They alleged he stole groceries in two separate incidents just hours earlier.

Meanwhile, Everett’s friend, Gayle Bank, said she was “surprised” and “hurt, because I spoke to him”

Bank said she saw Everett the other day, and she claimed he was not himself.

“I told him he didn’t look too good that he needed to go get some help,” Bank said, “and he said he would.”

Bank would not elaborate on the problems, but she said they may have prompted the incident on Tuesday night.

As for the guard, he said he was “feeling good” and “OK” after the incident.”

Everett was charged with first-degree robbery in the incident.


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