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Suspect arrested for punching female clerk in the face

Attack caught on security video

City News Service | 10/3/2013, 2:05 p.m.
A man who allegedly punched a female clerk in the face at a gas station in Lakewood last month in ...
Kendrick Ruth

LAKEWOOD, Calif. — A man who allegedly punched a female clerk in the face at a gas station in Lakewood last month in a dispute over a cigar was in custody today in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Kendrick Ruth, 35, of Long Beach was arrested Wednesday at a Long Beach motel and booked on suspicion of robbery and assault, said sheriff’s Lt. Minh Dinh of the Lakewood Station. Ruth was expected to be arraigned Friday at the Bellflower courthouse.

The assault took place about 1:15 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Chevron station at 4910 Lakewood Blvd., said Capt. Merrill Ladenheim of the sheriff’s Lakewood Station. The attack was caught on security video that was circulated to the media.

Ruth waited in line at the clerk’s register and asked the employee for a $1.41 Swisher Sweet cigar, Ladenheim said. He handed the clerk a $1 bill and when the 23-year-old woman told him the cigar cost 41 cents more, he allegedly argued with her and then threatened her.

According to the sheriff’s department, the suspect tried to grab the cigar from the clerk, but she pulled it away, put it under the counter and told the man he needed to leave. At that point, he allegedly leaned over the counter and punched her in the face, leaving her with serious injuries, and then fled.