YOUNGSTOWN - A group of store owners is offering a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of three people who beat and robbed a North Side shopkeeper Sunday.
Al Adi, president of the Greater Valley Grocers Association, said the Wick Park neighborhood group is also chipping in on the reward for information on the robbery that happened about 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Red & White Market, 1451 Elm St.
The store owner, Jihad Niser, 58, told police two men he does not know came to the counter. One of the men began talking to Niser, and as soon as Niser turned to him, the other man walked behind the counter and pounded the shopkeeper in the head, police reports state. A third man then entered the store and took a cigar box filled with cash out of an office.
A security camera captures the robbery at the Red White Market, 1451 Elm St., on Sunday.
The other two men continued the beating for some time before holding a gun to Niser's neck and ordering him to open the cash register. He couldn't get it open, the reports state.
All three men ran away. The box had between $6,000 and $7,000 cash inside, reports state.
A woman in the back of the store saw Niser bleeding and called police. Niser was bleeding profusely when officers arrived, reports state.
Special to the Tribune Chronicle
This security camera image shows a man holding a gun to a shopkeeper during a robbery Sunday at the Red & White Market on Elm Street in Youngstown.
Police Detective D.P. Scott, the lead investigator on the case, said the amount of violence involved in the robbery was unusual, especially since the robbers had a gun.
''They did not have to beat him the way they beat him,'' Scott said.
Niser was treated and released from St. Elizabeth Health Center for his injuries.
Al Adi, the owner of Downtown Circle on West Federal Street, agreed, saying that Niser is his uncle and has been in business at the same location for 40 years.
''He's a little guy. He's harmless,'' Adi said of his uncle. ''If you would see him, you wouldn't want to fight him. They could've done what they wanted to do without having to do what they did.''
Adi said his uncle is doing better.
Niser said his uncle has been robbed before but never as violently as Sunday.