ST. PAUL, Minn. - A convenience store clerk is recovering from burns suffered when an angry customer threw a cup of scalding coffee on him.
St. Paul Police spokesman Steve Linders says the incident happened last Thursday morning at the Super America on East 7th, just off I-94. The 54-year-old clerk was working the counter when a young customer approached and tried to buy a package of cigarettes. When the clerk asked him for ID the customer said he didn't have any, so no cigarettes were sold. Minutes later another young customer came in and asked for the same kind of cigarettes. Suspecting that the customer was buying them for the other young man, the clerk refused the sale.
The second customer became belligerent, yelling at the clerk and becoming increasingly abusive. When the clerk insisted that he leave the store, the young man said he was going to get some coffee, filled up a 16 ounce cup and then threw it in the clerk's face and ran out.
Police were called, and upon arrival found the clerk complaining of severe pain to his face and chest, and blurred vision in one eye from the scalding coffee. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Investigators believe they know who the suspect is, but have so far made no arrests. Prosecutors could charge him with a number of things, including aggravated assault.