San Leandro Safeway Manager Critically Injured In Store Assault

SAN LEANDRO (KPIX 5) – Police in San Leandro are looking for a man who brutally attacked a store manager inside a Safeway supermarket Monday morning.

According to authorities, the suspect approached the manager at the Safeway on 555 Bancroft Avenue around 11 a.m. Monday. Police said words were exchanged before the suspect sucker punched the manager. The victim fell to the ground, while the attacker ran from the scene.

Longtime customers at the Safeway know the manager as Moe. Joseph Sanchez, a friend of the victim, told KPIX 5 the manager sustained serious head injuries.

“That really hurts me a lot and especially the coworkers too. He’s just trying to do his best to keep the store safe, but you know things happen. You don’t know what’s going to happen, but it happened,” Sanchez said.

Police released surveillance footage of the attack, hoping it will lead to the suspect.

“Really not much to go on at this point, he was in the store a little bit prior to (the incident), so we don’t really know for sure what his intent was there,” said Lt. Randall Brandt of the San Leandro Police Department. “And then again the exchange between he and the manager was extremely brief…and then it was really one strike and he was out the door.”

Employees and friends said Moe is a great boss and a great friend.

“I’ve known the manager for about three years now, he is very nice,” Sanchez said. “He is trying to protect his store, but this isn’t the first time this store has been ripped off.”

The victim remained at Eden Valley Medical Center in critical condition Tuesday night. Friends said he is unable to recognize anyone, including his wife.

According to police, the suspect is described as a man in his 20s, around 5’10” with an athletic build. He was wearing a gray shirt and blue jeans at the time of the attack.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the San Leandro Police Department at 510-577-3230 or at the anonymous tip line at 510-577-3278.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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