A man was arrested in Miami on attempted murder and other felony charges after being caught on surveillance video repeatedly stabbing a gas station clerk who confronted him about shoplifting, according to police.
Billy Joe Martin, 39, of Phoenix, was arrested and booked into the Miami-Dade County jail on charges of attempted felony murder, armed robbery, burglary with assault or battery, and battery on a law enforcement officer.
The brutal attack occurred around 1 p.m. Monday at the Mobil gas station in the 570 block of NW 79th Street in Miami, where an employee working the counter allegedly observed Martin grabbing a beer can from a refrigerator and slipping it into his pocket.
According to an arrest report cited by NBC Miami, the store clerk walked up to Martin, asking him, “What did you put in your pocket?”
The question allegedly sparked the accused shoplifter’s rage, causing him to punch and then stab the clerk, repeatedly thrusting a knife into the victim’s back and face.
The horrific attack was captured on surveillance video from the store, as well as the victim’s efforts to fight off the assailant, who also grabbed a pack of Newport cigarettes during the bloody melee.
Despite his injuries, the wounded clerk was able to lock the store to prevent Martin from fleeing, and then locked himself inside the cashier’s area, according to WSVN.
When police responded, they arrested Martin and placed him in the back of a patrol car, where he started ramming his head against the Plexiglas partition, according to the arrest report.
The suspect later allegedly spat at a police officer and yelled racial and ethnic epithets at him.