Witnesses report violent robbery attempt in San Jose

ATTACK: A man, right, approaches the poker arcade attendant at 888 Poker Game II in San Jose on Sunday. The man reportedly punched the woman before attempting to rob the establishment. Screenshot from surveillance video

SAIPAN — The Department of Public Safety is asking the community to help identify a masked man who punched a poker arcade attendant and attempted to gain entry to the cashier's booth of 888 Poker Game II in San Jose on Sunday morning.

The woman sustained a broken chin/jaw and injured neck, a co-worker said.

The man reportedly had been playing one of the machines and later told the attendant, who was in the cashier's booth, to cash out his winnings.

As the attendant was resetting the machine, he punched her from behind, knocking her unconscious.

An 888 Poker staffer said that after punching the attendant, he took the key for resetting the machine and mistakenly thought that it was the key to the cashier's booth. He had accidentally pushed the cashier's door, locking it from the inside so he failed to gain entry, the staffer said.

The suspect then allegedly tried to use the key that he took from the attendant, but could not open the cashier's door.

When another customer came in, the suspect ran outside, the 888 staffer said. Witnesses told police they saw the man fleeing and heading south toward the village of Oleai.

The suspect is described as standing around 5 feet 6 inches tall with a skinny build, and wearing a black long-sleeved shirt, tan cargo shorts, a black baseball cap and black shoes.

Anyone with any information is asked to call 911 immediately, or call the CNMI Crime Stoppers Hotline at 234-7272. Crime Stoppers pays up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.