Victim in Torrington robbery attack speaks out - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Victim in Torrington robbery attack speaks out

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Torrington police are hoping the public can identify this man after a Famous Footwear robbery. (Torrington police photo) Torrington police are hoping the public can identify this man after a Famous Footwear robbery. (Torrington police photo)

A Connecticut store employee tried to stop a man from stealing a brand new pair of sneakers, but instead, he was attacked.

Andrew Howe was attacked at Famous Footwear store in Torrington on Sept. 12.  The incident left Howe dealing with the serious effects from the attack, as police search for the suspect.    

Howe spoke exclusively with Eyewitness News and has a message for his attacker.

"I did not expect this but it happened,” Howe, who had become the assistant manager at the store on East Main Street just a few months ago, said.

 The incident started with Howe helping his boss put out the new fall boots when he spotted a man across the store.

"As I was working, I saw him putting the shoes on ...which isn't uncommon,” Howe said. “But, I saw him put his old shoes into the box and throw them into the shelf."

 That’s when the suspect headed straight for the door of Famous Footwear.   

"He started to scurry along. He knew he was caught,” Howe said. “He had no intention of paying for those sneakers."

 Howe said he tried to stop him before he had the chance to leave.

"Protocol is basically attempt at the door. Try it,” Howe said. “That's it, don't go be a superhero because this happens."

Instead, Howe said he followed him outside of Famous Footwear.   

"I pointed every which direction. You're in a strip mall with retail,” Howe said. “There's a camera to your left and a camera to your right. You can't do anything at this point."

The pair started walking back towards famous footwear, but Howe said he could tell something wasn't quite right.

"It was starting to escalate, and I could feel it in my stomach,” Howe said.  "We carry radios, I said call police it's time. And...that's it."

Howe said he doesn't remember what happened, but Torrington Police Department said he was hit on the side of the head. Howe was taken to Hartford Hospital where he underwent surgery.

"They alleviated a lot of the pressure,” Howe said. "I have a crack skull, there were bone fragments digging into my brain."

Howe said he now has trouble seeing, his balance was off and he's been having seizures regularly.

"But I'm thankful, I'm alive,” Howe said.

 Howe said he's even more thankful for his wife, Tiffany.

 "I can't pick my kids up. I can't bathe them. I can't cook,” Howe said. “She's doing everything. She's an amazing woman."

 Howe said he now has a message to the man, who attacked him.

"I would have paid for those sneakers for you,” Howe said. “If you're that hard out, I would have paid for them for you ... but instead you did this."

Anyone with information about the incident or who can identify the man pictured in a released surveillance photo is asked to contact Det. Jim Crean at 860-489-2061.

Famous Footwear is offering a $1,000 reward to the person who helps police track down the man responsible. 

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