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DECATUR — A Decatur store owner who tackled a shoplifter was left with a large cut to his head after being repeatedly punched in the face Saturday afternoon, according to police reports.

Detective Sgt. Chris Copeland with Decatur Police said the trouble started about 2:45 p.m. at the Double Apple Discount store in the 600 block of South Oakland Avenue. Copeland said the 39-year-old store owner was watching a customer who had stolen previously and caused problems when he saw the man eat a snack he had selected and then walk out while carrying other snacks and a 40-ounce drink he hadn’t paid for.

Copeland said the store owner followed the man outside and grabbed the items back after he refused to pay for them. The man followed him back inside the store and then shoved the store owner from behind, prompting the owner to throw the drink can at the man, hitting him in the face.

“The male then charged the owner and struck him with his right fist along the left side of his head,” said Copeland. “The two grappled and the male continued to punch him. After they separated, the owner noticed he was bleeding from a lot from his head; he had a 2 ½ inch laceration running vertically just outside his left eye.”

The assailant fled and is now being sought by police. Copeland said detectives are reviewing video of the incident.


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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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