UPDATE: TYLER (KYTX) - A fight in a local supermarket sends two to the hospital and lands one man in jail, on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Police say the man arrested, 46-year-old Gerardo Bastida, was very drunk at the time.
It all happened at about 11:45 Sunday morning at the Supermercado Monterrey on Loop 323 in Tyler.
Store Manager Mike Inurriagarro says it all started outside the store. He says a man usually stands there asking customers for money. Inurrigarro says sometimes the man, who is not being named, upsets the customers by panhandling, but Sunday, he was a victim.
Inurrigarro says the man was outside the market as usual when he got into an argument with Gerardo Bastida.
"Evidently they new each other," Inurrigarro said. "They exchanged words and somehow or another the gentleman came in the store."
Police say Bastida stole one of the man's crutches chased him around the store, hitting him in the head with that crutch.
"That's when the employees intervened," said Sgt. Matt Leigeber with Tyler Police Department. He says store employees broke up the fight and tackled Bastida.
"Somewhere in trying to split up the fight, the suspect produced a box cutter, and cut one of the employees on the leg."
That employee who was injured is Fabian Ortiz.
Police say when they got to the store, employees already had Bastida pinned to the ground, so it was easy to take him into custody.
"Our employees did a good job holding him down," Inurrigarro said. Sgt. Leigeber says the man on crutches is lucky they did!
"One has to wonder what would happen had they not intervened especially if he's an older man, he's on crutches," Sgt. Leigeber said.
He says people take a big risk when getting involved in a fight like this - but in this case, employees may have prevented further injury.
Inurrigarro said, "I'm proud of them and the type of work they do and watching out for the customers here."
He's glad to know if anything like this were to happen again, his employees know how to take care of business!
The man with crutches and the employee, Ortiz, were both taken to the hospital with non life threatening injuries.
Press Release from Tyler Police:
On 03-03-13 at 11:43 a.m. Tyler Police responded to the Super Monterey grocery store located at 510 Loop 323 SSW.
It was reported that a large fight was occurring at that location. Officers arrived on scene to find two subjects injured. One victim, an elderly male was bleeding from a head injury. Another victim had suffered a stab wound to his left leg.
Employees of the store were detaining the suspect in the assault identified as Gerardo Bastida 46 of Tyler. Witness's advised that the suspect began assaulting the elderly male with a crutch inside the store. The second victim, a store employee attempted to stop the assault and was stabbed by the suspect.
Officers arrested Bastida and booked him into the Smith County Jail on two Aggravated Assault charges.