NEW YORK – Police are searching for a disgruntled shopper who sucker-punched an East Harlem store manager, leaving him with a black eye.
Shivpersaud Kowlessar says what started out as a normal work day for him on Thursday quickly turned ugly after a shopper began harassing him.
“‘I want to beat him up.’ So I said, “Why do you want to beat me? I did not do you anything. I do not know you,” “Kowlessar said.
Police say it happened around 11:30 am at the American Outlet on Third Avenue and East 118th Street where the 59-year-old has worked for the past nine years.
“I thought he was just shopping or, like, you know, I did not really think anything,” Kowlessar told CBS2’s Thalia Perez. “He said, ‘Yo, where is the shower liners?’ So I said, ‘Right over there.’ So I continue walking, so he followed me to the office. “
Kowlessar says he returned to his office located on the third floor in the back of the store to finish some work, but when he came out moments later, he says the suspect was standing at the door.
“It was very scary. I was like, you know, my heart was racing,” he said.
After another awkward confrontation, Kowlessar says, “He ran down the escalator going down, running up the one that I was going on, and then I said, ‘Don’t follow me.’ As I turned my face, he punched me straight in the eye. I did not expect it. “
Kowlessar suffered a cut and a black eye. He was back on the job Friday, but his daughter says the attack has left her on edge.
“Now it put fear in all of us, where, is my dad going to come home? Is my kid’s grandpa going to come home now?” Natasha Carrasquillo said.
Kowlessar says the suspect was caught on a surveillance camera and appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s. So far, no arrests have been made.