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Assault on Hempstead gas station worker under investigation

Nassau County police are searching for a man who tried to use a doctored credit card — then pummeled the gas station attendant who sniffed out his attempted fraud, Nassau police said.

The unidentified assailant was caught on video going behind the counter at the Apple Green Gas Station on Peninsula Boulevard in Hempstead about 6:20 p.m. on Jan. 8, after the attendant asked for his identification, police said.

The attacker then body slammed the attendant — twice — and threw a flurry of punches against his head, police said. He continued beating him in a back hallway of the store.

The assault left the clerk’s skull fractured and his knee ligaments torn, along with pain in his ribs, arms and ankles, police said. He was treated at a hospital and is expected to recover, police said.

“It looked like he was just set off and went at him,” Nassau Chief of Detectives Kevin Smith said at a news briefing Friday afternoon. “Boom. Zero to a hundred in a second.”

The assault happened after the man tried to buy gas and other items with a prepaid credit card, the magnetic strip of which had been altered, police said. The number on the card, which was produced in England, did not match the number on the receipt, police said.

After noting the discrepancy, the attendant asked for identification, leaving the would-be fraudster enraged, Smith said.

The footage also shows a woman who accompanied the man, police said. She watched the beating, then the two left in a dark blue Nissan Xterra, police said. Authorities also want to speak with her, Smith said.

The male attacker wore a red winter hat, black jacket and tan pants, police said, while the woman had long, curly hair and wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and beige pants.

Detectives said anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-8477.

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