WELLSVILLE - Joe Wallick, owner and proprietor of the For Your Convenience gas station and mart in Wellsville, was back at work on Monday following a violent encounter with a would-be armed robber over the weekend.
Wallick assured customers that he was all right as they came into the 17th Street business asking about the incident. Pointing to various scars on his head, Wallick said, "I got three stitches here, he hit me on the ear a couple of times, he was kicking me in the back." After police responded, Wallick was taken by ambulance to East Liverpool City Hospital, where he was released after being treated and receiving X-rays and CAT scans.
The incident began at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, when an unknown male knocked on the door. Wallick told him to come back at 8 a.m. when the store opened. The male returned at 7:45 and was turned away. He was standing at the door waiting when Wallick opened at 8 a.m., coming inside and asking for cigarettes.
Wellsville Police are investigating an attempted armed robbery Sunday morning at the For Your Convenience gas station and mart on 17th Street in the village. (Photo by Richard Sberna)
Leaning forward beside the counter pointing at cigarettes, the male waited until Wallick turned around before attacking him with a crowbar. Wallick says the attacker was relatively small in stature. Despite sustaining blows to the head and back, he was able to offer resistance to the attacker.
After a struggle of nearly five minutes, wherein Wallick was able to disarm the attacker, the male offered to simply stop fighting and leave. When Wallick did so, the male resumed his attack, but Wallick was able to fight back with chemical Mace and again offered physical resistance. The fight spilled onto the other side of the counter, and the pair slammed into the front door, shattering the glass.
Wallick has owned the business with his brother, Griffin Wallick, for four years. He says there was another armed robbery at the business previously that was less violent but far more lucrative for the thief. "About two years ago, I was held up by gunpoint," Wallick said. The robber got away with cash from the register.
There is a security camera inside the store, and footage from the time of the attack has been shared with Wellsville Police. The incident is under investigation.