Man arrested in 2 attacks, 1 with a hammer, at Chelsea grocery stores

CHELSEA, Manhattan (WABC) -- A man is now facing charges for attacking two workers in separate incidents at grocery stores in Chelsea.

Oscar Apronti, 27, a resident of the Chelsea Houses, is accused in the attacks, one in April and one in July.

In the more recent attack, 64-year-old Gristedes supermarket manager Ramon Acevedo says he was just opening the store when he says he saw the suspect waiting for him.

"He was just standing there looking hard, so that's what I said, I said let me just take a picture of this guy, this guy looks like he's ready to do something, and he was," Acevedo said.

Police reviewed surveillance video showing how, with no provocation, the man picked up a hammer and attacked.

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Acevedo says the man was a regular problem at his store and he's been arrested a number of times, including for assaulting a cashier.

Acevedo says New York City in 2020 reminds him of the '70s and '80s, which he lived through. He said he intends to live through this also.

Police said they knew who they were looking for, and they finally were able to arrest him on Sunday, August 2.

They also connected Apronti to a previous attack on Thursday, April 2nd. It happened at 6 a.m. in front of Chelsea Fine Food on 8th Avenue.

A 25-year old male employee was opening the store when police say Apronti approached him from behind and hit the victim in the back, in an unprovoked attack, with a hard object.

The victim suffered a cut to the back of his head. He was taken to Bellevue hospital in stable condition.

Apronti is facing several charges in both attacks including assault, stalking, and criminal possession of a weapon.

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