Another Bronx grocery store assault is intensifying the call to action from advocates to protect small business employees from violence.
The Collective Action to Protect our Stores (CAPS), a coalition of around 5,000 businesses in New York that aims to address the lack of law enforcement for retail theft, is calling on political action.
“With yet another attack on a grocery store worker, now is the time for our leaders in City Hall and Albany to step up and change policies and pass laws that will protect employees and customers,” the organization said in a statement to the Bronx Times. “Enough is enough — it is time for action.”
The NYPD confirmed that officers responded to a 911 call of an assault inside of the Foodtown grocery store, located at 1000 Allerton Ave. last Tuesday afternoon. Upon arrival, police said they were informed of a verbal dispute that turned into a physical altercation.
Security footage provided by CAPS shows a store employee trying to stop two people in black jackets, face masks and white hoods attempting to leave the store with tote bags. The employee then appears to grab one of the person’s bags, and the two start a physical fight. The person in the black jacket is able to wrestle the employee to the ground and punches him in the head multiple times, before fleeing from the store.
This comes less than two weeks after CAPS member Pedro Goico announced a $2,500 reward for information that would lead to the arrest of a group that assaulted a 24-year-old cashier — one of his employees — at Food Universe Marketplace in Fordham Manor while she was working.
In what he said was an effort to deter retail theft, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said during a radio interview earlier this month that city businesses should prohibit the use of face masks upon entry to ensure people are recognizable on surveillance cameras.
“When you see these mask-wearing people, oftentimes it’s not about being fearful of the (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s fearful of the police catching them for their deeds,” Adams said on 1010 WINS. “And we’re really putting the call out.”
According to reporting by affiliate amNewYork, the declaration doesn’t carry the force of law.
The NYPD confirmed with the Bronx Times on Monday that there are currently no arrests related to the March 7 assault at the Allerton Foodtown store, and that the investigation remains ongoing.
Reach Camille Botello at [email protected] or (718) 260-2535. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes