A Morro Bay man was arrested Thursday night after allegedly attacking an employee of a downtown San Luis Obispo business.
Around 8:30 p.m., San Luis Obispo police received a report of an assault at The Sub at 295 Higuera St. When officers arrived at the business, they found that an employee of The Sub had been kicked in the head, causing significant facial injuries, according to a news release from the San Luis Obispo Police Department.
During a search, officers found a man matching the description of the assailant hiding in bushes near Higuera and Marsh streets. The man ran from officers into the creek area, leading to a lengthy chase, police said. Officers searched the area with the help of a Sheriff's Office K-9 unit and Cal Poly police officers, eventually finding the man in a field next to the post office on Dalidio Road. A witness confirmed the suspect was the assailant at The Sub, police said.
The suspect — identified as Eric James Abril, 26 — was arrested and booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, assault causing great bodily injury, resisting arrest, possession of a switchblade knife (which was not used in the assault) and an outstanding felony warrant out of Santa Clara County, according to the news release.
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Abril was still in custody Friday morning in lieu of $75,000 bail, according to jail booking logs.
According to Sub owner Kjerstin Ferris, who reviewed the security footage, Abril attempted to shoplift a fabric poster when the security sensors went off at the door. She said the employee asked Abril to return to the counter and when he did not, the employee called Ferris on the telephone and reported the shoplifting.
Ferris said footage showed Abril then turned around, walked back to the employee and began beating him, eventually kicking him on the ground. She added that the employee later told her Abril said, “This is what I do,” before running from the store.
Ferris said the employee required six stitches and was taking the day off Friday to recover.