Arby's employee attacked by masked man in parking lot

Arby's employee attacked by masked man in parking lot

TYLER (KYTX) - Tyler police are searching for a man they say maced an Arby's employee and tried to rob her.

It happened at the Arby's on South Broadway just after midnight Wednesday morning.

Police say the employee was getting into her car after her shift, when a man dressed in all black wearing a ski mask grabbed the car door, sprayed her with mace and pulled her from the vehicle.

The suspect then ran around to the passenger side, opened the door and started going through the woman's car.

"We don't know if he was looking for a bank bag from the business that she would be taking with her. She didn't have one," Tyler Police Department Public Information Officer Don Martin said.

That's when police say the victim did something that may have saved her life; she set off her car's alarm and ran to a nearby McDonald's, where an employee called 911.

"She really used good smarts in bringing attention to herself and getting help," Martin said.

By the time police got there, the man was gone.

"He apparently rummaged through the car, didn't take anything and then was gone when when officers arrived on the scene," Martin said.

So how can you avoid a similar situation? 

Martin says you should always park in a well-lit area of the parking lot, be aware of your surroundings, and if at all possible, park next to another employee and leave together.

"Make sure that when everyone leaves, you're all leaving together," he said. "Don't leave someone behind."

And before you get into your car, check inside.

"Even before you get in your car, look in the car," Martin said. "Make sure that your doors are locked before you get to your car and that no one is sitting in the backseat."

The victim -- whose name hasn't been released -- only suffered minor injuries from the mace, but police say it could have been much worse if not for her quick thinking.

There is a $1,000 reward being offered to anyone who helps solve the case.

CBS19 reached out to the victim, but she declined to comment. The manager of that Arby's restaurant says the company is conducting its own investigation.


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