LA MESA, Calif. - Police said Tuesday that an investigation was under way after a 68-year-old clerk was pistol whipped and hit on the head with a bottle during a scuffle with an armed robber at a liquor store in La Mesa.
The incident occurred at about 8:45 p.m. Monday in the 3800 block of Massachusetts Avenue, according to La Mesa police Sgt. Bret Richards. Once there, officers found the store clerk bleeding from his head, the sergeant said in a statement.
The clerk told police that a man armed with a gun tried to rob the liquor store. The clerk attempted to keep him from doing that, which led to a scuffle between the two. During the struggle, the robber used his gun to hit the clerk on his head, Richards said.
The robber then demanded the clerk open the store's cash register, and the clerk complied. As the robber filled his pockets with an undisclosed amount of cash, the clerk grabbed a liquor bottle and struck the robber on the back of his head, Richards said, noting the blow sparked a second struggle between the two men.
The struggle moved from behind the counter to the store aisles. Richards said the robber ran out of the store with an undisclosed amount of money after he grabbed a liquor bottle and struck the clerk in the head. H
Police said a handgun of some sort was left behind by the robber, who was last seen leaving in a small light blue van.
"The handgun turned out to be an Airsoft handgun and it was recovered at the scene," Richards said, adding that the robber fled in a light blue mini van.
Police described the suspect as black, 30 to 35 years old and about 6 feet 2, with a heavy build and goatee. He was last seen wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt with white lettering on the front, and a curly blond wig, Richards said.
The clerk was transported to Alvarado Hospital to be treated for his injuries including multiple contusions and lacerations.
Anyone with information about the robbery was asked to call La Mesa police at (619) 667-1400 or San Diego County Crime Stoppers' anonymous tip line at (888) 580-TIPS.