61-year-old clerk attacked during robbery speaks out, search for suspect continues

Photo credit: Asheville Police Department

Asheville Police are searching for a suspect who attacked a clerk at an Asheville convenience store.

It happened just after 11 a.m. on June 15th at Oakley Food Center.

61-year-old Michael Parker, the victim, has worked at the same store for almost 30 years. He said he considers it his second home. "The customers are my family," said Parker. "They support me and I support them."

Parker said the day of the attack started out like any other, which is why he never saw it coming. "I opened the door [of the register] to get change and he started reaching for the money and grabbing money out of the register," said Parker.

But Parker wasn't going to let him get away that easy, "I reached across the counter and grabbed a hold of his shirt and tried to pull him over the counter," said Parker. "That didn't work because he's bigger than me."

In security camera footage you can clearly see the suspect has a weight and height advantage against 61-year-old Parker, but it didn't stop the suspect from punching Parker in the head 6 times.

Parker said the punches broke a bone on his head near his eye. He was taken to the Mission Hospital to get treated for his injuries.

Instead of taking more time off, like his boss recommended, Parker was back to work just two days later. "I was fine. Still a little sore, but I was fine," said Parker.

Parker said he's not mad at his attacker. He said he wishes the suspect didn't punch him, but believes the man must have had a reason to do it.

According to APD, the suspect is described as a black male, 6' - 6'5" tall with black dreadlocks. They say the suspect was seen getting into a silver car, believed to be either an Acura or a Honda. If anyone has information on this incident or the identity of the suspect, you are encouraged to contact the Asheville Police Department at (828) 252-1110 or Crime Stoppers at (828) 255-5050.

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