Caught on Camera: Armed Robber Punching Out 78-Year-Old Man

The victim suffered a concussion, broken nose, and other injuries and was in the hospital for four days

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    A gas station surveillance camera captured the moments when two armed men punched a 78-year-old man in the face, then robbed him. Patrick Healy reports from San Bernardino for the NBC4 News at 5 on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (Published Tuesday, Jul 1, 2014)

    Police are looking for the armed robbers who attacked a 78-year-old man at a San Bernardino gas station last week, and hope the HD-quality security camera video of the perpetrators will help identify them.

    The assault occurred in the early morning on Tuesday, June 24 at the Shell Service Station in the 1100 block of west Highland Avenue.

    The victim, John Faust, routinely filled his pickup truck up with gas there before he would drive long miles to job sites where he worked as a supervisor for a construction firm.

    Police surmise the perpetrators may have been waiting for a potential victim to stop at the service station. As Faust takes the receipt from the pump and puts the cap on the tank, the perpetrators can be seen walking up from the other side of the pump aisle, and then splitting around the pumps, so that one approached from the front end of Faust's truck, the other from the back.

    The surveillance video shows one of the robbers knocking Faust down with a blindside punch , The robbers then rifled through his pockets and took his wallet before running out of camera view.

    Faust suffered a concussion, broken nose, and other injuries and was in the hospital for four days. He is now recovering at home.

    "That guy on the back side of the truck had a gun and told me, 'Give me your wallet,'" Faust said during an interview at his home Tuesday. "Next thing I know, I'm laying in the driveway."

    Faust said he never saw the punch coming from the second gunman who had approached from behind him.  The punch struck Faust in his right eye, knocking him into the side of the pickup. From there, he slumped to the ground.  The perpetrators then manhandled him until they found his wallet. 

    Faust pulled himself up and searched for his broken eyeglasses.  It was several minutes before another person walked up to him to offer help.

    "It seemed pretty calculated what they did," said Lt. Rich Lawhead of the San Bernardino Police Department.  

    Though the perpetators wore hoods, and one in particular made obvious effort to keep his face covered, glimpses are visible during the video, and police are hopeful they will be recognized.

    Asked what he would say to his assailants, Faust replied,  "Get yourselves straightened out and down to the police station, before someone gets really hurt."

    Faust and his wife Dorothy had not previously viewed the security camera video until NBC4 showed them a copy obtained and provided by the police dept.

    "Oh my God," Dorothy Faust whispered as the video showed her husband being knocked down.

    As tough as one would expect from a Marine veteran, Faust said he has almost fully recovered and expects to return to work next week.  He chides himself for not being more attentive to his surroundings, though when a reporter suggested there are not many options when you are outnumbered by armed attackers, Faust agreed that the reporter had a point.

    He would cite his experience as a lesson  for others to be more aware when out in public, especially during hours when few are about.

    San Bernardino Police asks anyone who recognizes the perpetrators or has other information to contact detectives in the headquarters station. 

    NBC4's Samia Khan contributed to this report.