Police Question Person Of Interest In Hammer Attack On Store Owner

MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami Police are questioning a person of interest in the vicious hammer attack on a store owner who is clinging to life inside Jackson Memorial Hospital.

A police source tells CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that this latest person who was picked up by Police on Southwest 8th Street at 32nd Avenue appears to be the attacker who police have been seeking since the attack on Sunday.

That person of interest is being questioned extensively inside Miami Police headquarters. Police say they found a bicycle and two packs of Marlboro cigarettes on the scene that might have been stolen from the victim’s store.

This development happened as police fanned out in Little Havana, passing out new flyers of the suspect in the case. He was captured in a chilling videotape recorded by the two cameras inside Alex’s Mini Market at 501 N.W. 12th Ave.

The suspect is seen entering the store and pretending that he wants to buy two gallons of milk. Then he suddenly sprays a chemical into the eyes of store owner, 44-year-old Yue Kui Cen. As he rubs his eyes in disbelief, the suspect goes around the counter and strikes him six times on the head with a small sledge hammer.

He is then seen fleeing with only two cartons of Marlboro cigarettes.

The new flyer describes him as a white man, in his 40s, who’s between 5’8″ and 6′ tall. That matched the description of the first person of interest who was picked Wednesday morning near N.W. 4th Street and 11th Avenue, near the store. But he was released after questioning.

As the flyers were passed out in Little Havana, residents told D’Oench they were shocked by the attack.

“Horrible, just horrible,” said Del Hernandez, the owner of the Pan American Cafeteria. “He was a good friend to everyone in this neighborhood. He’s a great person and this didn’t have to happen.”

“I feel bad,” said Junior Cruz, a barber who works near Cen’s store. “This could have been my family. This could have involved other persons.”

“This is a person who attacked someone for two cartons of cigarettes,” said Miami Police Sgt. Freedie Cruz. “We want to get him off the street before he attacks a 2nd person.”

“He beat him, he tried to get his life,” said Phuong Thuy Ly Cen, the victim’s wife on Monday. He was crazy. My husband was an innocent person with a lot of friends. We need the public’s help.”

Miami-Dade Crimestoppers had only received a few tips in this case.

If you recognized the man in the pictures, you’re urged to call Miami Police or Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).


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