SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) – A man was stabbed late Monday night by a security guard at a Vons grocery store in Santa Monica after he purportedly became violent when employees asked him to put on a mask.
The stabbing occurred at about 10:35 p.m. at a Vons located at 710 Broadway.
Witnesses said the victim entered the Vons a little before closing, appeared disheveled and was not wearing a mask.
Witnesses told Santa Monica police that when Vons staff approached him, the victim became belligerent and assaulted an employee. When a security guard intervened and tried to escort the man out of the store, the man attacked the guard, police said.
The security guard then produced a pocket-knife and stabbed the suspect several times.
According to police, the security guard called 911 and reported that he had stabbed the victim in self-defense. Officers arrived to find the victim outside the grocery store.
"When somebody came up to break it up, pull them apart, but then that guy was bleeding profusely, where he'd (the guard) gotten him," witness Andre Berryman said. "So that was pretty much what happened. It was all behind him not wearing a mask."
The victim was taken by ambulance to a hospital with multiple stab wounds, police said,. He underwent surgery and was last reported to be stable. The man has allegedly refused to provide investigators with his name or any forms of identification.
Footage from the scene showed the security guard sitting on the curb surrounded by officers. It's unclear if he will face any criminal charges.
"I don't have the specifics on the actual knife, if it's a pocket folding knife, then, yes, it is legal and he can be armed with it," Santa Monica police Lt. Rudy Flores said.
There was no word regarding whether footage of the altercation was caught on the store's security cameras.
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