Pistol-whipped smoke shop clerk speaks out after robbery

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A store clerk attacked while on the job is speaking out against the crooks who robbed and beat him in a frightening ordeal this morning.

Smoke shop store clerk Ramon Simmons told Eyewitness News, "When they jumped out the car and ran in I said, 'Oh, I'm getting robbed. So when they came in I put my hands up and they said, 'Get on the ground, get on the ground'."

It was around 2:30 this morning when several men barged into the Houston 420 Smoke Shop, in the 12,000 block of Hempstead Road.

With masks covering part of their faces and guns drawn, the suspects wanted cash.

Simmons said, "They put me on the ground and tied my hands up. They're asking me, 'Where's the money?' and I said, 'I haven't made any money. There's no money in the safe. No one's been here.' He's like, 'How do you open the safe?' I was like, 'Just figure it out yourself' or whatever. So he got the safe open and got the money out."

Simmons still wore the duct tape the robbers used to wrap his wrists.

And because the clerk had no money in the cash register and couldn't get to the safe fast enough for the crooks, he was pistol whipped four times in the back of his head.

Simmons said his head is swollen from the blows.

He said, "I just know I saw a bunch of guns and they said, 'Get down and you know when that stuff happens your mind is just all over the place."

The robbers also started breaking display cases and stealing things from inside the shop, before they finally took off.

Simmons said, "I was a little shaken up at first and my head was spinning once I got up - he hit me so hard. I was a little shaken up, but I was able to get to the phone and call the cops immediately."

While he's still coming to grips with his ordeal, more than anything, he is angry that this would happen where he works.

"I want them thrown under the jail," Simmons said. "I mean, it's uncalled for. You know, you come in, you know, threaten people with bodily - deadly force - I mean, get a job."

Surveillance video was rolling during the robbery and is now with Houston Police.

The clerk says at least one of the suspects was possibly Hispanic and the other possibly black and there was also a third man he cannot identify.

The clerk says the robbers got away in a black pickup truck.

If you have any information in this case, you're asked to contact Houston police.
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houstonarmed robbery
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