Man Charged in Punching of Lakewood Gas Station Clerk

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A man suspected of brutally attacking a Lakewood gas station cashier over 41 cents was charged Friday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.


Surveillance footage from the Lakewood Chevron shows the attacker reaching over the counter and punching the clerk in the face.

Kendrick Ruth, a 35-year-old Long Beach resident, was charged with assault and mayhem, according to the DA’s Office.

Ruth was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of robbery and assault, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Lakewood Station announced.

Detectives had been searching for the attacker since his Sept. 7 assault, which occurred at a Chevron gas station on Lakewood Boulevard and was sparked by a dispute over the price of a cigar.

Surveillance video showed the man waiting in a long line inside the gas station at around 1:15 p.m.

When he reached the register, he asked the cashier — a 23-year-old female — for a $1.41 Swisher Sweet cigar, Lakewood sheriff’s deputies said. The man only offered a dollar bill, and when the employee prompted him for the additional 41 cents, he began to argue and tried to grab the cigar from her hand.

When she asked the man to leave, he swung his fist over the counter and punched her across the face. The clerk suffered “severe injuries” as a result of the assault, sheriff’s officials said Thursday.

During a Bellflower Superior Court hearing at which Ruth did not appear Friday, his bail was set at $80,000.

His next hearing was scheduled for Oct. 11 in the county court system’s Mental Health Department.