• Store clerk pistol-whipped during Casselberry robbery; Suspects' identities released


    CASSELBERRY, Fla. - Four men were arrested after police said they robbed a Casselberry store and pistol-whipped a clerk.

    Workers at the Just Fork It Cafe said they were a little suspicious when they saw a blue car circling the back parking lot with four men inside.

    A few minutes later, a surveillance camera caught three of the men walking past the restaurant and toward Deal$ 5 Dollars or Less discount store.

    The three men appeared to be trying to hide their faces with hoodies or a hat.

    Their behavior caught the eye of a patron inside Boost Mobile.

    "He said, 'I saw those three guys standing outside. Be careful,'" said Neam Choudhary of Boost Mobile.

    The three stood outside for a minute before entering Deal$.

    Then the camera caught the three running from the store, with bandanas covering their faces.

    "They jumped in the car right next to me when they ran around the building," said witness James Stewart. 

    A surveillance camera in the back parking lot caught them driving away at a high rate of speed.
    "I saw no gun, just that they had masks on," said a witness.

    But police said they did have a gun, and the store manager was pistol-whipped during the robbery.

    "I went out, I saw the guy coming out of the dollar store, he was bleeding," said Choudhary

    The group didn't go far in their getaway car. They crashed a little over a mile away, on State Road 436, just east of Ronald Reagan Boulevard and just across from the Altamonte Springs Police Department.

    Altamonte Springs police took the four men into custody.

    They were identified as Gerald Francis, Kwame Payne, Shaquon Johnson and Emmet Petersen.

    A manager for the Deal$ store said that the clerk will be OK.

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