Clerk assaulted during SE Portland 'flash rob'

Clerk assaulted during SE Portland 'flash rob'

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by Jeff Thompson, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on April 28, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 30 at 7:00 PM

PORTLAND -- A clerk and another person were assaulted by members of a 'flash mob' at a Southeast Portland store Friday night, police said.

A man and woman were being chased by 15 to 20 people when they fled into the store, in the 12100 block of E Burnside Street, just after 11 p.m., according to Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson.

"As the woman was asking the clerk to call 911, the group ran into the store and took alcohol, candy and food from the shelves," Simpson said. "Employees described having multiple altercations with the group inside the store."

While the group was leaving the store, an employee attempted to apprehend one of the suspects and was hit several times. That suspect was described as a 17 to 18-year-old African-American woman, 5 feet 6 inches tall, with a heavy build.

During that altercation another member of the group was fighting with the woman who had initially run into the store to escape. He was described as a 17 to 18-year-old African-American man, 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighing 170 pounds.

The rest of the 'flash mob' then returned to the store, at which point another employee began deploying pepper spray and the entire group, including the initial victims, dispersed in different directions.

Neither employee required medical assistance, but Simpson said police were concerned about the violent nature of the incident.

"It concerns the police that these things are going from simple thefts to robberies and assaults, and they're certainly scaring the heck out of people working at the stores," he said.

No suspects were located or arrested. Investigators were working with the store owner to obtain surveillance video.

Anyone with information about this incident was asked to email Portland police.

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