SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Police in San Francisco on Wednesday confirmed the Tuesday arrest of a 16-year-old suspect in connection with a weekend robbery and pepper-spray assault of a Chinatown store owner.
As KPIX reported on Monday, the owner of GoApple -- a phone repair and accessories store on Grant Avenue in Chinatown -- said a teen thief stole iPhone cases from her shop before returning later the same day to assault her with pepper spray.
In surveillance video she shared, store owner Fanly Chen is seen in white as a teen wearing a yellow shirt entering the store and pepper spraying her while she helped another customer on Saturday before 6 p.m.
"I have the pepper [spray] just go straight in my eyes. It was very painful," Chen remembered. "Immediately you feel like, blind. You can't open your eyes; your whole face is like burning...You feel like you cannot breathe very well."
Chen said customers called 911 because she couldn't see. She went to the hospital to get treatment for her eyes.
She said hours before she was pepper sprayed, the teen had swiped a handful of iPhone Max cases from her store. She snapped a photo of the suspect. She told KPIX he returned shortly after the original theft, claiming he wanted to exchange the cases for the right ones.
On Tuesday, Central Station officers assisting in the investigation into the robbery and assault were reviewing surveillance video. Officers saw images of the suspect and recognized him as a resident of the neighborhood.
The officers went to the suspect's residence where they met him and his parent. The officers placed the suspect, a 16-year-old male San Francisco resident, under arrest. He was later admitted to the Juvenile Justice Center on the charges of robbery, assault with a caustic chemical, theft and battery.
While an arrest has been made, police said the investigation remains open. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.
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