Three crooks mixed up a mysterious powder with a liquid and then threw the substance into his eyes.
The robbery happened on Nepperhan Avenue in Yonkers, and it was all captured by surveillance cameras.
Mohammed Shah had been working at the gas station and convenience store only a month when he was temporarily blinded and robbed at gunpoint.
"They say, 'Where is the money? If you don't tell us, we'll kill you,'" Shah said.
It happened around 1:30 a.m. Monday at a Mobile station in Yonkers.
The three men walked in pretending to be customers.
A minute after the first man entered, he grabbed Shah and splashed a red liquid in his eyes.
While the suspect dragged the helpless clerk to the back office, the two others went straight for the cash.
They were looking in the lower shelves for the extra cash box. When they were unable to find it, one man went for the register and wiped out all the bills and checks.
Then, they brought the clerk back, forced him to the ground and, with a gun to his head, demanded to know where the cash box was stashed.
He answered, and so they grabbed it and fled the scene with about $4,000.
"We tell employees, 'Do not resist, give them what they want," said Syad Shash, the gas station's owner.
"It was definitely planned and not spur of the moment," said Detective Sgt. Justin Barbato, of the Yonkers Police Department.
The three suspects are described as young Pakistani men who fled in a new white Toyota Camry.
They spoke Hindi to each other which the clerk understood.
After they escaped, Shah immediately washed his eyes and called police.
"I could not see nothing, could not do anything," Shah said.
If you have any information on this incident you are asked to call the Yonkers Police Department's Detective Division at (914) 377-7724 or (914) 377-7725.