HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Hendersonville business owner told News 2 his businesses have been the target of a few recent crimes. He said this has been difficult as he is trying to reopen his business during the pandemic.
Frank Abdel-Khalik is 74-years-old who moved to America from Egypt in 1982.
38 years later, Frank’s family runs Tazza Cafe and the American Discount Tobacco Store in Hendersonville.
Abdel-Khalik said on Wednesday April 29, his store was burglarized and just 24 hours later, he was assaulted by an alleged shoplifter.
Abdel-Khalik said, he was scared when 31-year-old Phillip Nelson and two others entered the tobacco store and split up in different directions.
“I was scared. I was feeling something wrong would happen.”
Frank said Nelson took a chain from a case and hid the item in his shirt.
When Nelson tried to leave, Abdel-Khalik said he confronted the alleged shoplifter and Nelson responded violently, kicking the store clerk, more than twice Nelson’s age.
“He kicked me,” Abdel-Khalik said demonstrating, raising his leg and elevating slightly.
“It was like that, like a karate. He was jumping and phew!” The senior made a sound effect then grabbed his side. “He hit me very hard. Today, I may go to the hospital.” Abdel-Khalik said he is having trouble sleeping.
Abdel-Khalik said Nelson left the store and with the help of a fellow customer, they got the chain back.
Nelson and his group drove to Goodlettsville. Police said one of the store customers followed the alleged thief. Goodlettsville police were able to detain the suspects until Hendersonville police could arrive and make the arrest.
Abdel-Khalik said he asked the suspect why he was doing it.
“I told him, why you do that? If you need help, I’ll help you.”
The day before, Nelson Frank and his family were victims again.
A man wearing a surgical mask threw a brick threw the front door, and stole energy drinks and cigarettes.
A burglar alarm called Hendersonville Police to the store and they put the man in handcuffs.
Abdel-Khaliktells told News 2 that opening businesses during a pandemic is hard enough without criminals taking advantage of him and his family.
“It’s bad. I am not happy to see like that. It’s very bad.”
Phillip Nelson is charged with theft and simple assault.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.