Florida

An angry customer sucker-punched a gas station clerk. It was the clerk's lucky day.

Man sucker punches 63-year-old store clerk for refusing to sell him alcohol

The Tampa Police Department released surveillance video showing the moment when a store clerk was sucker punched in the face by a suspect after the clerk refused to sell him alcohol at 3:30 a.m. on July 1, 2018.
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The Tampa Police Department released surveillance video showing the moment when a store clerk was sucker punched in the face by a suspect after the clerk refused to sell him alcohol at 3:30 a.m. on July 1, 2018.

Far be it for anyone to call an unprovoked punch to the face "lucky." But for David Miller, a Florida gas station store's clerk, he's not above thinking that he is, at the least, fortunate.

According to Tampa police, a man, not even half the age of the 63-year-old Miller, entered the Marathon station's store about 3:30 a.m. Sunday, with the intention of buying booze.

But, as Miller told the man, alcohol sales are stopped at 3 a.m. He was simply too late.

The suspect became confrontational. Tampa police released a complete surveillance video from the store, at Miller's urging, and shared it on social media.

"The victim has asked that we share the full video to show the entire event and urge anyone with information to call and hold this criminal accountable for his actions," Tampa police said.

In the video, the two men are seen in what escalates into a verbal altercation for about a minute. After Miller returned the alcohol to a cooler, he told the suspect to leave the store. The two continue arguing and the man "got directly in David's face and, without provocation, punched David, knocking him to the ground," police said.

The suspect, wearing patterned shorts, a black T-shirt, white socks, and a cap, fled from the Marathon store on foot and was seen walking south on Channelside Drive, according to police.

Miller staggered to his feet and sought medical attention because the sucker-punch was to the head.

"My God turns evil to good," Miller told Tampa's Fox 13 News. "Because of this, I got a CT scan in my head to make sure he didn't do any real damage. Because of that, they found a small, benign brain tumor that will get treated at an early stage. This could also turn out to be a good thing for him. He could get rehab because of this. He could change his life today because of this mistake," Miller told the station.

"All I want is to see him turn a new leaf and have a better life," he added.

Tampa police say the suspect is a white male, about 25 years old — give or take three years — and 5-foot, 10-inches. He has a thin mustache and goatee.

Anyone with information can call Tampa Police at 813-231-6130.

"Terrible. Could have killed that guy. That poor guy is someone's father," a follower of Tampa Police Department posted on the Facebook thread.

Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.
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