A San Francisco store clerk who was violently attacked by a robber trying to steal two beers has died from his traumatic brain injuries.
Yowhannes ‘John’ Tewelde, 60, was beaten into a coma when a thief attacked him with a baseball bat while he was working at Richmond Market on Thursday.
The owner of the market on Balboa Street said that Yowhannes was wielding a bat to deter the thief near the front door at 9.30pm. The man had already stolen water from the shop, and came back 10 minutes later to take beers.
But the plan backfired, as the robber then knocked Tewelde down and started allegedly hitting him over the head with the bat, surveillance images showed.
The suspect still remains at large.
Yowhannes ‘John’ Tewelde, 60, was beaten into a coma when a thief attacked him with a baseball bat while he was working at Richmond Market on Thursday
The suspect, who tried to steal two beers, still remains at large. He whacked the clerk with a baseball bat
Yowhannes had recently become a US citizen and had undergone heart surgery in March, according to his family. But he was always dedicated to his work.
Meron Tewelde, his daughter, said: ‘Right after his heart surgery, he didn’t wait to go back to work because he wanted to be there. There’s something about that community he loves. He loves everyone there.’
Tewelde underwent two surgeries after the beating outside the shop, but he never regained consciousness.
When he was initially injured, his wife, who is a nursing assistant, told Fox: ‘This is very hard. We feel bad. We’re in pain.’
In a GoFundMe update, his family and friends wrote: ‘Hello everyone, I am deeply saddened to share that Yohannes ‘John’ Tewolde passed away in the SF General Hospital ICU today at 1:58pm.
‘John was a beloved member of the community and even more loved by his family and friends. The family has asked me to relay their gratitude for your continued support and asks that your prayers go out for John and his family.
Yowhannes had recently become a US citizen and had undergone heart surgery in March, according to his family. But he was always dedicated to his work
He was knocked into a coma by the robber. He never recovered
Meron Tewelde, his daughter, said: ‘Right after his heart surgery, he didn’t wait to go back to work because he wanted to be there. There’s something about that community he loves. He loves everyone there’
‘In memory of John, several of us neighbors have decided to organize a Vigil in his memory on Thursday (8/31) at 9pm, a week since the incident.
‘It will be held in front of the Richmond Market on the corner of 41st Avenue and Balboa Street. Feel free to bring cards, flowers, and or candles to the Vigil this Thursday as we remember John and his kindness.
‘Once again, please continue to share this GoFundMe as we try to garner as much financial support for the family as possible. Thank you to all of you for your generosity and love. Stay safe.’
One person from the local San Fran community wrote: ‘John always was a friendly and positive presence in the neighborhood.
‘Never without a smile on his face when you entered the store. His smile after a long and challenging day of work always made me smile.
Tributes poured in for the beloved store clerk
Local residents have banded together following the traumatic attack
Pictured: Richmond Market in San Francisco
‘My deepest condolences to his family for this senseless act. John will not be forgotten.’
Another person added: ‘Dear John, we will miss your kindness and smile. My little daughter always asks about you and Nancy.
‘You made her smile and happy everyday she wanted to go to say hi to you. We will miss you very much.’
Writing after the sad news, a third local said: ‘I’m sorry for your loss. It’s hard to to believe this happening in our neighborhood! So senseless.’
While a four added: ‘Hard work and loyalty should not be rewarded with brutality. This is heartbreaking.’