MIAMI (CBS4) – Veteran Miami Police detectives are calling it one of the most disturbing surveillance tapes they have seen. It’s a chilling tape from two different camera angles that shows the cold-blooded beating of a store owner.
His attacker strikes him six times on the back of his head with a small sledgehammer before fleeing with just two cartons of Marlboro cigarettes worth $12.
Now, the victim’s devastated wife is making a public appeal for help in solving this crime.
It happened around 12:15 p.m. in Little Havana at 501 N.W. 12th Ave., just east of the Marlins new baseball stadium.
“Last night, I didn’t sleep because of what he did to my husband,” said Phuong Thuy Ly Cen, the wife of the victim, 44-year-old Yue Kui Cen.
They have owned and operated the store, Alex’s Mini-Market, for the past six years. The victim’s wife said they have been robbed before, but never attacked.
“He’s got to be very cold blooded to do something like this,” she told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “My husband never did anything to anybody. In our neighborhood, everybody knows us. They love us.”
The surveillance tape showed a man who police described as a white male, in his 50s or 60s, roughly 5’8″ tall and about 170 pounds. He was wearing a light-colored cap, a buttoned-down shirt, a grey hooded sweater and black pants.
Police said he entered the store with the pretense of buying two gallons of milk. Suddenly, he pulled a spray bottle from his pocket and sprays the victim with an unknown chemical.
As the victim rubs his eyes, the suspect walks around the counter and starts his attack.
“He comes in and uses spray in my husband’s eyes and then he hit him with a hammer. You know he beat him in the head several times,” said Phuong Thuy Ly Cen. “He looked like he was trying to get his life. I don’t know what happened. He’s crazy. I need the public’s help to find this guy.”
“I don’t know this guy. I did seem him when he came in the store last year,” she said. “I saw him some time ago. Look at his picture. And please help us catch him. My husband is very innocent.”
Yui Kui Cen has been unconscious since the attack. Police say he is in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
“My experience is thast this individual knew what he wanted and he knew what he was doing. This was planned,” said Detective Fernando Bosch of the Miami Police Department’s Homicide Unit.
“It makes you sad,” Bosch told CBS4. “It makes you want to split yourself in 10 pieces and find this guy as soon as possible.”
If you know anything at all about this case, call Miami Police or Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).