Authorities detained a person of interest as part of the manhunt for an assailant who entered a market over the weekend and violently attacked a clerk with a sledgehammer.
"We want to take this monster off the streets," said Freddie Cruz, spokesman for Miami Police.
Police passed out fliers in the Little Havana neighborhood on Wednesday, hoping to find the person who entered Alex’s Mini Market at 501 Northwest 12th Avenue on Sunday and brought two gallons of milk to the register. As the clerk, Yue Kui Cen, 44, rang the items up, the suspect pulled a bottle from his pocket and sprayed Cen’s face with an unknown chemical, police said.
As Cen rubbed his eyes, the suspect walked around the counter and hit him in the back of the head with a sledgehammer several times, authorities said. He grabbed two cartons of cigarettes and fled the scene on his bike.
Authorities say they found a plastic bag with cigarette boxes and a bicycle on 34th Ave. and Calle Ocho when they detained the man.
"The puzzle is going to be put together piece by piece," Cruz said.
Cen is currently in extreme critical condition, according to police.
The suspect is described as a white male in his 50s or 60s, around 170 pounds and around 5-foot-8. He wore a white cap, a buttoned-down shirt, a grey hooded sweatshirt and black pants.
Earlier Wednesday, police had also detained another person who was released after several hours.
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call the Miami Police Department’s Robbery Unit at 305-603-6370 or Miami-Dade CrimeStoppers at 305-471-TIPS.