HOUSTON – Police are searching for three robbers who brutally beat a northeast Harris County business owner.
Mahesh Patel had just opened his Kwik Chek grocery on Aldine Bender last Thursday morning when three men suddenly burst into the store.
"And suddenly, I was watching them and someone hit me from the back," Patel said. "And I just fell out. And I don’t know what happened."
The robbers threw Patel to the ground and punched and kicked him repeatedly.
Then they stole his wallet, ransacked the business and demanded he open the door to the office.
"After that, what they do with me, I can’t remember anything," Patel said.
The suspects used a metal newspaper display rack and other objects to break the glass.
They robbed the cash register and stole as many cigarette cartons as they could stuff in their pants.
Hemlata Patel had no idea what had happened when she showed up at the store and her husband wasn’t there.
"When I came here and saw the blood and all that, it was scary," she said.
She later found her husband at the hospital, bloodied and beaten.
"It’s scary, isn’t it? He’s a human and they’re human too," Hemlata Patel said.
Investigators have identified two of the three robbers, Darius Brager and Gerald Himes, through fingerprints.
Both have prior arrests and Brager was out on bond for another robbery.
The third, who at one point appears to pull a gun, was wearing gloves.
"They should be put away hopefully, because there’s no reason to do this," Mahesh Patel said.
"Just for the money, beat people like this? Why don’t they go and work to get some money?" asked the victim’s wife. "We’re working hard 10 to 12 hours a day. Then we make some money to survive. They have to do the same thing. Go out, work, make some money and have a good life instead of this life. If they catch them, they’ll be behind the bar how many years? Is that the life they want?"
The suspects were driving a white minivan. If you know anything about the case, please call the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.