Good Samaritan stops attacker beating employee in Jacksonville grocery store

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A local grocery store employee is recovering from a vicious attack.

Jacksonville police said he was trying to stop a shoplifter at the Rowe’s IGA store on Dunn Avenue, when the alleged thief beat him and dragged him outside.

Kristen Love had just arrived at the store Tuesday and rushed to the man to try to help.

“You’re going to the grocery store to get mashed potatoes and you don’t think you’re going to witness somebody being attacked,” Love said.

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Surveillance video given exclusively to Action News Jax showed the female suspect walking into the store.

Love said she saw what happened as the woman tried to leave the store with nearly $200 in stolen food.

“[The male employee] was holding onto the basket and she just was cussing and swinging her arms and everything, and hit him pretty good in the face, and he just bled really badly,” Love said.

Store management did not want to provide footage of the actual incident, but the report from JSO states the suspect struck the store employee several times to the left side of his face and dragged him outside.

It also states she caused him to lose footing and fall to the ground.

“He was bleeding on his face and legs and everything, and I was just trying to console him and get him some help,” Love said.

JSO said the suspect got into a white Jeep with a man and sped away.\

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Love said other shoppers were able to get the license plate number.

Using that license plate number, police tracked down the owner of the Jeep who said she bought it for her nephew, who moves from place to place.

Right now, officers are still trying to locate that person.

“I was just really surprised that someone could hurt somebody who was older,” Love said.  “And just with that anger when there’s so many people and churches locally that would help someone if they needed food or anything like that.”