A man in his 70s was beaten last week by a person who asked him for money outside a Wawa at the corner of Cinnaminson Avenue and East Broad Street in Palmyra, New Jersey. Police say they are taking action.
“I was just stunned more than anything,” Palmyra resident Bill Lorenz told NBC10. “The guy came over and went to my door and demanded money and I just buckled up. I didn’t even look at him when I saw him walk by and say ‘No.’ Next thing he knew, he just hit me.
The man begged customers for money outside the Wawa, Lorenz said. He was carrying a bag of clothes that had two small stones at the bottom.
“Another gentleman, about 30 or something, came out and he was a pretty big guy who tried to knock him down with the bag he had,” Lorenz explained.
Shortly after Lorenz called, Palmyra police officers arrived at the Wawa and arrested the suspect, who had also overturned a grocery cart inside the store before the attack.
“It actually started with the suspect walking into Wawa, throwing a shelf of groceries on the floor, being confronted by the manager, leaving the store and then the incident occurred outside,” Palmyra Police Lt. Josiah Murphy told NBC10 .
The police assume that this demonstration of violence was an isolated incident.
According to police, the suspect was charged with two counts of simple assault, indecency, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and trespassing. He also had three outstanding warrants for his arrest at the time of this Wawa incident.
The Palmyra community met Monday night for a city council meeting where the issue of loitering and panhandling at this Wawa was a hot topic.
Police say there are problems with pedestrians in the neighborhood, and this Wawa store location is just steps from the NJ Transit River Line platform.
Police are working with NJ Transit to increase patrols around train tracks and encourage anyone to speak up if they feel uncomfortable rather than wait.
“My fear is that someone could actually become much more violent and take someone’s life,” Lorenz said.
Wawa told NBC10 that it takes the safety of customers and employees very seriously and that it is the responsibility of corporate police to report any issues to police.
https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/man-punched-outside-new-jersey-wawa/3649223/ Man beaten outside a Wawa by man begging for money – NBC10 Philadelphia