Cellphone clerk stabbed during robbery could lose eye, wife says

18-year-old arrested early Tuesday admits to robbing Metro PCS, police say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Metro PCS store clerk who was stabbed in the head several times during a robbery Friday night will be in the hospital another week and will likely lose one of his eyes, family members told News4Jax on Tuesday.

Emery Handy, 18, was arrested overnight in connection with the violent attack at the Westside store. He faces charges of attempted murder, armed robbery and five other charges. At a first-appearance hearing, a judge ordered Handy held without bond. His next court date will be April 12.

The clerk's wife, who didn't want their last name used, said Rick was stabbed and robbed just before closing Friday night. He remains hospitalized and likely will lose one eye.

"I do forgive the attacker, as long as he finds God," his wife said Tuesday.

A witness said Handy had been hiding out since the robbery, but several people turned him in to police after the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office released images from surveillance video. He was arrested at an Arlington apartment complex early Tuesday morning.

According to JSO, Handy admitted to the robbery.

Surveillance video from the store on Ramona Boulevard showed a vicious attack. News4Jax honored a request not to release the video to the public, but it shows the robber enter the store through a back door, then leave before returning, sneaking to front of the store and attacking the clerk.

The video shows Rick fighting back the best he could while being stabbed numerous times in the face.

Well-wishers showed up at the Metro PCS store Tuesday with cards and flowers, wanting to see if Rick will be OK.

“He's part of this community,” Mary Caldwell said. “We are a tight-knit community. I am so glad, and I thank Jesus for helping to get that person.”

Rick's wife said she appreciates all of the concern from the community.

Rick is so beloved that a group of friends created a GoFundMe account to help his family

Muni Shirzai, a clerk who works with Rick and considers him a friend, said she might not be as forgiving as Rick's wife.

She said she understands something like this could happen at any time.

She described Rick as one-of-a-kind.

“Mr. Rick is an amazing person. He's always helped people that don't even need help,” Shirzai said. “People come and they don't have money for their bill, (and) he pays it out of his pocket.”

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