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Retired Police Officer Violently Attacked By Alleged Tip Jar Thief At OC Starbucks

HUNTINGTON BEACH ( — A 26-year-old man remained in custody Sunday for allegedly attacking a retired police officer after the suspect reportedly stole a tip jar from a coffee shop.

According to the Huntington Beach Police Department, officers were sent around 8:15 p.m. Saturday to Starbucks located on Adams Avenue at Brookhurst Street for report of a robbery.

A preliminary investigation revealed a suspect -- later identified as Francisco Cardenas, of Santa Ana -- took the tip jar from the counter and ran into the parking lot; however a customer followed Cardenas and confronted him.

Police explained Cardenas allegedly grabbed a 40 pound metal sign, and struck the customer in the head. He then fled from the scene on a bicycle.

A short time later, Cardenas was located in the area of Brookhurst Street and Ellis Avenue in Fountain Valley, and was found in possession of the stolen property.

Cardenas was taken into custody for theft and assault with a deadly weapon. The tip jar contained $3 in bills and some change.

Officials added the victim was transported to a hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

On Sunday evening, the Orange County Register identified the customer as Scott Fahey, a 55-year-old retired police officer who spent 30 years on the force.

He said being hit by the sign was "like getting hit by a baseball bat."

Fahey told the newspaper that after being struck, he told Cardenas he was carrying his Glock 26. He said Cardenas came at him with the sign a second time.

"You don't want to do that," he said he told the suspect, "I will shoot you." He said Cardenas then jumped back on his bicycle and fled.

On his Facebook page, Fahey thanked well-wishers for their thoughts and prayers.

"I was just kept overnight to make sure the brain hemoraging [sic] didn't get worse."

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