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Police: Decatur store employee punches customer, puts him in headlock

Police: Decatur store employee punches customer, puts him in headlock


DECATUR — A 19-year-old man was arrested Sunday night while working at a Decatur auto retail store after he put a 60-year-old customer in a headlock, punched and dragged him through one of the aisles, Sgt. Chris Copeland said.

The man came to the Auto Zone, 1434 E. Eldorado St., to recycle oil, Copeland said, and the 19-year-old was sent to the back area with the customer to assist him. Shortly after, the manager heard the employee yelling and cursing, so he went to the back and walked the two men to the front of the store, Copeland said.

The manager told officers the employee got within an inch of the customer's face and told him to leave "his" store, Copeland said. The 19-year-old then wrapped both of his arms around the 60-year-old man, putting him in a headlock, Copeland said.

The customer told officers the 19-year-old punched his head and body multiple times while dragging him through a store aisle. He then went to his vehicle, told his son what happened and the two went back into the store, Copeland said.

The 19-year-old threw the oil cans at the man and his son and told them they were lucky he didn't have a gun, or else he would have killed them, Copeland said.

The suspect was arrested at the store and booked into the Macon County Jail on Sunday night on a preliminary felony charge of aggravated battery to a senior citizen 60 or older. He is being held in lieu of $20,000. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the Macon County State's Attorney's Office.

A manager working at Auto Zone on Tuesday morning referred a Herald & Review request for comment to the company's corporate office, which did not immediately respond to a message left with its regional service office in St. Louis.

2019 mug shots from the Herald & Review

Contact Kennedy Nolen at (217) 421-6985. Follow her on Twitter: @KNolenWrites


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