LONGVIEW, Wash. (The Blaze/AP) -- Police in Washington state say a shoplifter with a hatchet sliced off most of a store security guard's ear.
Longview police Sgt. Doug Kazensky tells The Daily News that the shoplifter pulled a small hatchet out of his waistband Monday afternoon and swung, chopping off nearly the entire ear.
The guard was taken to a Portland hospital for emergency plastic surgery in an attempt to reattach the ear.
The attacker remained at large.
The assault took place just outside the garden center entrance of a Fred Meyer supermarket. Kazensky says two security officers were trying to apprehend the man, who was suspected of taking CDs, bike chains and other small items.
33-year old David Morrison was trying to contact a shoplifting suspect when the attack happened, according to Sgt. John Reeves with the Longview Police Department.
Police say the assault happened after the man left the store, outside the entrance to the garden center. They say the man had several items in a cart he had taken from the store.
The man apparently brought the hatchet to the store with him.
"It’s crazy that anything can be that important to cut off an employee’s ear. Whether you were shoplifting or whether you weren’t," customer Kyle Powers told KGW.