Man attacks gas station customer

Attacker shown on surveillance video

Author: Roger Lohse, Reporter, rlohse@Local10.com
Published On: Mar 08 2012 10:57:22 AM EST   Updated On: Mar 09 2012 10:56:40 AM EST
Surveillance image
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -

Police are searching for the man who attacked and beat up another customer at a gas station. 

The incident happened at the Shell Gas Station at the corner of Davie Boulevard and Andrews Avenue on Feb. 19, and the whole thing was captured on surveillance video. 

"Do you really want to make jokes? Do you really want do that?" the attacker can be heard saying on the video.

"I wasn't even speaking to him, and he was telling me to shut up," said the victim Michael Stocker.

Stocker said it started when the man ordered him to step back 6 inches while they waited at the checkout counter. Stocker said he tried to defuse the situation, but for a full 60 seconds, the tough guy unleashed a profanity-laced tirade and then, out of nowhere, the verbal dispute turned physical. 

"The next thing I know, he's going off on me. He slugged me a couple of times, then knocked me into a wine rack and then kneed me in the chin. I was a little shell-shocked and basically in disbelief," Stocker said. 

But what's perhaps more disturbing than the beating is the reaction of the other customers in the store. Nobody stepped in to break it up. In fact, one man was on his cellphone, and he stepped out of the way so the attacker could get in a few more punches. 

"I mentioned to the gal behind the counter, 'Are you watching this?' and she threw her arms up and said, 'I don't want to get involved,'" Stocker said. 

The suspect eventually stormed out of the store, leaving Stocker with multiple bruises on his face, neck and body and two chipped teeth. Police said the attacker clearly has some anger management problems that need to be addressed. 

"If he's able to do this in the public, just randomly start beating someone, imagine what he's capable of. We need to get him off the streets before he hurts someone else," said Fort Lauderdale police Detective Travis Mandell. 

"It's just not the way society acts," Stocker added. 

Anyone who recognizes the man in the video is asked to call Fort Lauderdale police.