Deputies search for man who threw gas on clerk

- A gas station clerk had to fight off a man who tried to set him on fire, according to investigators

It happened Sunday around 6:30 p.m. at Hoschton Discount Beer and Tobacco on Highway 53.

The man came in wearing a blue poncho, a black mask, and carrying a Gatorade bottle full of gasoline, which he tossed on the clerk behind the counter.

"And he tells me ‘I burn. You give me money.’ He did try to light it, but lighter is not working," said Akm Sarwar, the victim.

Sarwar, who is originally from Bangladesh, said when the lighter failed he sprang into action, struggling to take control of the firebug crook who tried to set him ablaze. The man eventually fled the store.

Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum said deputies responded quickly but the man got away.

"He got away on foot. K-9s were brought in," said Sheriff Mangum.

Sheriff Mangum is concerned with the extremely dangerous methods involved during this attempted robbery by perhaps someone nearby.

"To think that somebody would come in there and pour gasoline on somebody and threaten to burn them, we got to hurry up and find out who this is, " said Sheriff Mangum.

The sheriff and Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly are in close communication to close in on the gasoline tosser who may have covered his face, but had very distinctive shoes on.

"The shoes really jumped out at me but I think if everybody will look at that video, look at it real close, you may know somebody that wears a pair of shoes like that," said Mayor Kenerly.

Anyone with any information on this dangerous firebug robber is asked to contact The Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

Sarwar said he wasn't hurt, but wondered why the robber was trying to set him on fire when the money he was after could also have been set on fire.

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