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Hammer-wielding man goes wild after Flushing spa workers refuse to give him a refund: NYPD

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Armed with a hammer, a man terrorized workers at a Flushing spa last week after his request for a refund was rebuffed, according to authorities.

Law enforcement sources said the trouble began Nov. 29 at 10:35 p.m. inside the Tao Spa Bodywork, located at 135-20 40th Road.

During his visit, police said the perpetrator demanded a refund from a 55-year-old female worker. When she refused, he pulled out a hammer and again demanded money.

Cops said the suspect then grabbed the worker by the hair, dragged her out to the waiting area and punched her in the face. The worker then fled to a back room, and three other female employees confronted the enraged customer.

According to authorities, the hammer-wielding man grabbed one of the workers, a 56-year-old woman, by the throat and shoved her against the wall. He then threatened the other employees with the hammer, prompting one of the workers to hand over $40 to the suspect, hoping that he would finally leave.

The suspect took the money, but that still wasn’t enough for him, police said.

Cops noted that the perpetrator walked over to the counter and smashed open a piggy bank that was there. He grabbed some of the coins and cash from the destroyed bank before exiting the spa and heading eastbound on 40th Road.

Officers from the 109th Precinct responded to the reported robbery. Paramedics treated the injured workers at the scene.

On Dec. 1, the NYPD released video footage of the perpetrator, who’s described as a Hispanic man with black hair between 20 and 30 years of age, standing about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gray hooded coat, dark colored jeans and tan work boots while carrying a light-colored backpack.

The video shows the suspect punching one worker, menacing another and smashing the piggy bank on the counter.

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA), visit the Crime Stoppers website, send a direct message to the Crime Stoppers Twitter page (@NYPDTips) or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

Updated 9:08 am, December 3, 2018
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Reader feedback

Teresa from Flushing says:
Why are these smaller neighborhood massage and body work businesses allowed to operate at 10:30pm? Doesn’t this allow for more criminal activity? Who is protecting these spa workers at this time of night?
Dec. 3, 10:28 am
Nosurprise from Queens says:
Its flushing...the neighborhood that lacks class and houses third world trash anymore. What did you expect?
Dec. 3, 11:38 am
not a surprise from queens says:
Since the majority of these so called spas are really brothels, it is not surprising that this guy asked for the services which he requested. His actions denote his surprise at the refusal. Probably all of the other spas provided these services. The fact that they were open late at night further suggested what they really provide.
Dec. 3, 2:53 pm
Celtic from Bayside says:
This is such fake news. The 3rd world migrant was looking for SEX and didn't get it, but usually would because 99% of these places are indeed Chinese whore houses that the 109/111 pcts and politicians refuse to do NOTHING about. Flushing is now a red light district well known throughout the country. What a shame.
Dec. 3, 3:32 pm
Jeff from Flushing says:
I take the Murray hill train. And get. Late at night. There are three. Of theses whore houses. Right when u get off the train the cops do nothing about it. There open late. Who need a massage at 2 am. Come on wake up America.
Dec. 3, 9:36 pm
Steve. from Bayside says:
This is sick. That America has became like this. We. Have became a. Third world country they should shut all theses whore house. That’s what they. Are. Any one who goes to these places is a dirt bag
Dec. 4, 11:51 am
Jr from Bayside says:
Hahahaha. Open the borders more. Its been time to go for a while, I guess Ill wait for the methadone clinic to open up next to me or the shelter to open on my block then Ill realize that I have to go. Liberal policies at its finest.
Dec. 4, 6:52 pm
OBSERVER says:
JR you're hispanic, why are you so mean to your own people..lol
Dec. 7, 6:25 pm
James from Queens says:
These late night massage parlors stay open because they get a lot of non-Asian customers. So before anyone blame the Asian community for allowing these places to exist, I would suggest checking in on your loved ones. It’s the same as the war on drugs. People vilify the Hispanics for the drug trade but guess who the main customers are? I will give you a hint: The opioid epidemic.
Dec. 8, 11:26 am
Jayna from Queens says:
It's so true flushing have the most white houses yet they be with nice handbags pretending they are so professional Yet have sex and callling out massage massage papi To top it off in corona there are so many moms with kids after kids Yet in welfare and living in one apt about 20 and nice cars and cells Yet better life in America is not having kids after kids to land on welfare I am 55 and take care off mine and single mom And don't need my boyfriend that works for the city to take care off me Our country is over crowd and don't need extra and I think elderly is not a problem after all try don't have much time Ir someone that is really ill to get the help and than send them back It's crazy how we see so much And weather we like the big boss Trump we must respect and obey laws Since he is the opposite be oppose I am not saying all he say is right Yet most yes If they don't respect the law and demand they are going to do what they have to do to be in NYC That's tells you who they are They have no respect And people don't fall for the tears I have seen it all when I go to see my friend and she is from the area 🙏🏻💜We need peace and more laws that reference and time on the hanging out in street
Dec. 9, 12:41 pm
Steve Kim from Flushing says:
Lol he obviously didn't get a happy ending. What a way to react to some blue balls. Lock this guy up. And btw the city/cops protect these spas. It's called corrupted cops. Some of them close them if they get suspicious and relocated but for the most part they get protected. If you really get deep into flushing Chinese nightlife, some of the KTV will close their gates after a certain hour and it becomes a sex drug den. Of course not anybody could walk into one of these.
Dec. 14, 3:03 am

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