WILLOUGHBY, Ohio — A local store clerk was sliced with a knife before her alleged attacker took police on a high-speed chase and crashed into a ravine.
The suspect, Albert Rose, 57, is being treated at Hillcrest Hospital. Police say he is seriously injured, but his injuries are not considered life-threatening.
Cara Grimes, 21, feels fortunate that the cut on her hand is the worst thing that happened to her early Thursday morning.
“I work at the CVS at the corner of 91 and Maplegrove and a man just attempted to attack me with a knife, he just ran out into the parking lot,” she said during a call to 911.
Surveillance video from the CVS Pharmacy on Som Center Road shows around 2:30 a.m., a man walked into the store. Police later identified him as Rose.
“I greet everyone as they come in, so he says ‘hi’ and goes back and gets cough medicine and then he comes back to the front,” Grimes said.
She said she scanned a courtesy card for him, then told him his total.
“And out of nowhere, he just grabs the collar of my shirt and puts the switch blade in my face and that’s when I cut my hand, I cut my hand getting it out of my face, cause that was my first instinct,” she explained.
“Looks like he was in a Ford Escort, he had no lights on,” a coworker told a 911 dispatcher.
The clerk’s coworkers ran to the front of the store and got a glimpse of the suspect’s car to give to police before it pulled off.
“We’re thankful she wasn’t hurt more seriously, she called us right away, she did the right thing, and her coworkers, instead of being heroes, they were good witnesses,” said Willoughby police Lt. Thomas Trem.
Police in neighboring Willoughby Hills caught up to the car and pursued it until it crashed on River Road near Gates Mills.
“I think once he realized I was gonna put up a fight, he left, like he wasn’t gonna get what he wanted because I’m assuming, I’m hoping it was money and that he wasn’t trying to cause damage or actually harm me or anyone else in the store,” Grimes said.
Willoughby Hills police issued an arrest warrant to Rose for failure to comply and the court set his bond at $25,000 dollars.
Willoughby police plan to charge him with the armed robbery at CVS.
“I’m a little shaken up obviously, but I mean, getting attacked like that and then not going to work and getting upset and everything, is letting them win … that’s not who I am,” Grimes said.
Court records show that since 1974, Rose has been convicted of various crimes, including grand theft, aggravated burglary, and felonious assault.
He was just released from prison this past July after serving time for misusing credit cards.