MANCHESTER, NH – A man accused of beating a store clerk on Feb. 21 with a metal baseball bat, leaving him nearly unconscious and bleeding, appeared in Manchester District Court March 2 for a probable cause hearing.
Judge John Coughlin ordered Gedeon Karasi, 22, who is homeless, to be held on $750,000 cash bail.
Karasi is charged with first-degree assault, second-degree attempted murder, armed robbery, and three misdemeanor charges, including resisting arrest. The alleged assault was captured on the store’s video surveillance camera, revealing that the clerk, Melash Gitta, 22, endured 10 minutes of being punched, kicked and beaten with a metal baseball bat that had been stashed under the store’s counter for protection, according to police testimony.
Court paperwork describes the incident as follows:
Police Officers Ryan Brendreth and Michael DeJoy were dispatched to 61 Best Market, 61 Maple St., at 8:26 a.m. in response to a panic alarm. When they arrived, Officer DeJoy heard the sound of metal hitting the pavement and looked in that direction to see man, later identified as Karasi, running from the store. While other officers arrived and entered the store, Officer DeJoy ran after Karasi and ordered him to stop several times, but Karasi did not stop, police said. At that time, Officer Brandreth and his police dog partner Colt joined the chase and Karasi was apprehended by Colt behind 77 Maple St. Karasi was treated for a dog bite after he was arrested.
Officer DeJoy joined the other officers inside the market where Gitta lay bleeding and struggling to stay conscious, his face and mouth swollen, a deep cut on his chin and a contusion on his forehead.
Officer Adam Bergeron-Rosa was engaged in keeping Gitta talking, in an attempt to keep him conscious. Police said his mouth was filling with blood from his injuries, and he told police he feared he would die. Police assured him they would not let that happen.
According to DeJoy, the store had been “destroyed” and there was a trail of blood on the floor in front of the cash register as well as in several of the store aisles.
After reviewing the store footage, Officer DeJoy described the sequence of events as follows: Karasi walked to the register wearing black gloves and placed some merchandise on the counter and handed money to Gitta. As Gitta opened the cash register, Karasi jumped over the counter and began punching and kneeing Gitta’s body until he fell to the ground.
Police say that for the next 10 minutes Gitta endured multiple blows with the baseball bat, trying to defend himself and push away from Karasi, who continued to attack him, at one point holding Gitta in a headlock and striking him in the head with the bat, then straddling him and continuing to strike him with the bat. After Karasi released his hold on Gitta, Gitta tried to crawl away, and Karais struck him again several more times with the bat.
Then, according to police, Karasi went to the cash register and removed $65 in cash before running from the store, where he encountered the police officers and was taken into custody. Police recovered the $65 in cash on the ground, allegedly taken from the register, next to Karasi at the point he was apprehended by the police dog.
Police said that Gitta was lucky to survive the incident, and that Karasi “took a substantial step” toward causation of Gitta’s death by repeatedly striking him “recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life with what appeared to be great force with a metal bat using an overhead motion.”
Karasi is scheduled to appear in court April 13.
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