ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Every morning, dozens of customers stop by the SuperAmerica convenience store in St. Paul for coffee to start their day. But, on Thursday, the clerk behind the counter got a different kind of jolt thanks to an angry customer.
“It’s egregious. It’s outrageous, and it could possibly be aggravated assault,” said Steve Linders, St. Paul Police spokesperson.
St. Paul Police said last Thursday morning, a young man came to the store to buy a pack of cigarettes, but the clerk refused to sell to him because he didn't have identification.
After he left, the customer in line behind him asked for the same cigarettes, which the clerk suspected he was going to give to the young man who'd been turned away. So, the cashier refused him, too.
“He became irate, verbally abusive to the clerk,” Linders said. “He started swearing at the clerk, hurrying the clerk, harassing the clerk and haranguing the clerk who asked him to leave. The clerk said ‘we won't be doing business today.’”
But, instead of leaving, the customer walked to the coffee machine, filled up a 16-oz cup and threw it in the clerk's face, scalding him.
The employee had to be taken to a nearby hospital with burns on his face and chest, and blurry vision in his left eye.
”So here's a guy just doing his job, who ends up getting hot coffee thrown in his face,” Linders said.
The customer left more than just an injured clerk behind; he forgot one of his belongings, so investigators quickly discovered his identity.
So far, they haven't caught up with the coffee-weilding customer, but they hope he's had time to cool off.
“Everybody wants to start their morning with a cup of coffee, some people want to start with a cigarette,” Linders said. “If you can't get it in one place, move along to the next place. Don't assault someone [and] put them at risk for a serious injury because you are upset.”
The employee has since been treated and released from Regions Hospital. The customer could be charged for aggravated assault.