Man Attacks Minimart Cashier With Chemical Spray and Hammer, Flees with Cigarettes

​On Saturday, disgruntled New York City handyman Jerome Isaac allegedly set an old woman on fire over $2,000 in unpaid work.

Not to be outdone in the category of "horrific and senseless crimes," one Miami man has apparently done Isaac one better worse.

Police are searching for an unknown white male who walked into Alex Mini Market in Little Havana on Sunday afternoon and pretended to buy a gallon of milk. As the cashier reached for change, the suspect sprayed him in the face with chemicals before pounding him in the head with a hammer. The man then fled with a whopping two cartons of cigarettes.

According to Miami Police, the suspect is a white male in his 50s or 60s, approximately 5'8" and 170 pounds. He was last seen wearing a light-colored cap, a gray hooded sweater, and black pants.

The victim of the bizarre attack, cashier and store owner Cen Yue Kui, remains in extremely critical condition.

A surveillance video caught the man reaching into his pocket and spraying Kui in the eyes with a mysterious liquid. As Kui grabbed his face, the man went around the counter, pulled out what police believe was a small hammer, and struck Kui in the back of the head six times.

The attacker then fled the market on his mountain bike with the cartons of cigs around 12:15 p.m. yesterday.

Anyone with tips should contact Miami Police Department's Robbery Unit at (305) 603-6370 or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.