Clerk stabbed during robbery, suspect caught - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Clerk stabbed during robbery, suspect caught

Tony Battle Courtesy: Muscogee County Jail Tony Battle Courtesy: Muscogee County Jail

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  A Columbus teenager is facing charges after police say he stabbed a convenience store clerk during a robbery on the city's East side.

When 19-year-old Tony Battle walked into the Money Back convenience store on Buena Vista Road early Monday morning, Columbus police say he pretended to order cigarettes.

The clerk, who is also 19, turned around to get a pack and that's when investigators say Battle jumped over the counter, stabbed the worker twice in the back and grabbed cash out of the register before taking off.

A witness told police they saw someone with a bike leave the store and head down Amber Drive. Two patrolmen, Ali Shirazi and Narada Lee, soon realized they had something to go off of- a fresh trail.

The conditions-cold, wet and rainy- weren't ideal for officers but they used them to their advantage. In fact it was the mix of snow and slush that allowed them to track Battle's footprints and bicycle trail for a mile and a half, all the way from the convenience store to his East Columbus home.

The trail wove behind Kendrick High School and down several streets, directly to Battle's back door on Melford Drive. Inside, detectives say they found the knife used in the robbery and their teenage suspect who was taken into custody.

Back at the convenience store, we spotted the victim meeting with management after being released from the hospital. He declined an interview but says he was excited to hear that Battle had been caught. He says after everything, his alleged attacker only got away with $72.

Tony Battle faces charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime. He is being held in the Muscogee County Jail.

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