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Police looking for man accused of repeatedly punching Aurora clerk over mask request

Victim: 'Turn yourself in'
APD tweet.jpg
Sinclair Station E. 6th & Billings
Sinclair Assault Suspect
Posted at 4:27 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-16 12:02:56-04

UPDATE | April 16, 2021 — Ion Buzdugan, 35, was arrested and booked by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office in Florida on March 9. He remains there now and faces an assault charge in connection to an alleged assault of a Sinclair convenience store clerk in Aurora in early January.


AURORA, Colo. — Aurora police are asking for help identifying a suspect who is accused of repeatedly punching a Sinclair convenience store clerk in the face after she asked him to wear a mask.

The victim told Denver7 that a man walked into the Sinclair station at E. 6th Avenue and Billings at 10:45 a.m. Jan. 4.

An employee told him that masks were required.

When he refused to don a mask, a second employee asked him again and apparently got punched in the face.

"He hit me at least three times," she said. "It broke my nose. I don't know if I need surgery."

Eleven days later, the victim still has black and blue bruises under both eyes.

"I'm still recovering," she said. "I hope he turns himself in."

Customer Rebecca Ojo said she couldn't believe what happened.

"We've been going to the same gas station for five years...and what happened to her should never have happened," she said. "She was just doing her job, trying to keep people safe."

When asked if she recognized the suspect, Ojo replied, "I've never seen him before, but I hope he gets caught."

Another customer, Andre Smith, said people are getting too violent.

"Get real, people. We're in Colorado, dude. This is a beautiful state and we should not be getting violent like that," Smith said.

Aurora police tweeted about the incident and released freeze frame photos of the suspect and his car, a blue or black Audi.

Ojo said she hopes someone recognizes the man in the photos.

She had a message for the suspect: "It's posted. It says to wear a mask. Wear your mask! It's not that hard. Now people are looking for you."

Anyone who recognizes the man in the photos is asked to contact Aurora police or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers.