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COVID-19: Suspect Nabbed For Violent Assault Of LI Gas Station Attendant Over Social Distance

The gas station at 131 W. Merrick Road in Freeport.
The gas station at 131 W. Merrick Road in Freeport. Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

A suspect was apprehended following a lengthy investigation after a violent assault of an employee at a Long Island gas station over social distancing that happened early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to authorities.

The 67-year-old male victim was working as a gas station attendant in Freeport at 131 W. Merrick Road on Friday, April 3 at 10:35 p.m., Nassau County Police said. 

 A male customer handed the employee $10 for gas. 

The victim felt the customer was too close and requested him to step back due to the COVID-19, police said. 

The customer became angry, returned to his vehicle and removed a metal bar, according to police. 

He then struck the victim in the head causing a large laceration, police said. The attendant was also struck in the ribs and right leg causing multiple contusions, according to police.

The victim was transported to an area hospital, where it was determined the victim suffered a fractured skull.

The subject fled the scene.

A thorough investigation was conducted and Hiram Vega, 41, of Queens, was arrested on Friday, Sept. 18.

Vega has been charged with first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault. He is due to be arraigned on Saturday, Sept.19 in Mineola.

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