Yohannes ‘John’ Tewolde, pictured with his wife, was reportedly assaulted on Thursday and is suffering from serious head injuries. | Source:Courtesy Tewolde family. Tewolde grew up in Eritrea and lived in Canada for seven years before moving to the United States in 2013, his daughter said. He was a father of two and was married for 28 years.
A San Francisco store clerk has died from his injuries five days after he was brutally beaten with a baseball bat while trying to stop a thief stealing just two bottles of beer.
Yowhannes “John” Tewelde, 60, never regained consciousness after suffering a major brain injury during the attack late Thursday at Richmond Market and died at a local hospital shortly before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, his family announced.
Tewelde was working at the Balboa Street store around 9:30 p.m. Thursday when a thief attempted to steal two bottles of beer.
He had already made off with some water, police said, and came back just 10 minutes later to find Tewelde wielding a baseball bat in an effort to keep him away.
Yowhannes “John” Tewelde, 60, died at a San Francisco hospital Tuesday following a brutal attack.Fox 2
But surveillance footage from the store shows the thief knocking Tewelde down, causing him to strike his head on the floor.
He then grabbed the bat from Tewelde and beat him over the head with it before fleeing.
Tewelde had confronted a thief who was trying to steal two bottles of beer from the store where he worked Thursday night. The unidentified suspect (above) remains at large.Fox 2
The unidentified suspect remains at large.
Tewelde’s daughter, Meron, described him in the aftermath as a “loyal, trustworthy person [who] treated that store like it was his.
“It makes no sense why he would try to stop that guy,” she told KPIX. “If that was me, I would have let him steal whatever he wanted to steal. But my dad has such honor.”
Tewelde had recently become a United States citizen and underwent heart surgery in March.
“Right after his heart surgery, he didn’t wait to go back to work because he wanted to be there,” Meron told KTVU. “There’s something about that community he loves. He loves everyone there.”
Tewelde was beaten with a baseball bat by the thief and never regained consciousness.Fox 2
Friends and family members remembered him on Tuesday as a pillar of the community.
“John always was a friendly and positive presence in the neighborhood,” Molly Stark wrote on the GoFundMe. “Never without a smile on his face when you entered the store. His smile after a long and challenging day of work always made me smile.
“My deepest condolences to his family for this senseless act,” she added. “John will not be forgotten.”
Another community member, Shaina Prasad, shared how she would see Tewelde on nearly a daily basis.
“He had so much love for me and my dog,” she wrote. “Every time we went in it felt like I was chatting with a family member and felt so loved. Whenever I’d walk home alone at night I felt safe knowing John was in the store.
“I’m so saddened by his passing and my heart goes out to his cat, Nancy, and his family.”
Authorities said the suspect had already stolen some water from the store before he returned around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.Fox 2
A third person commented: “I’m sorry for your loss. It’s hard to believe this [is] happening in our neighborhood. So senseless.”
And Heidi Marie Bretz wrote that “hard work and loyalty should not be rewarded with brutality.
“This is heartbreaking,” she said.
A vigil is planned for Thursday night outside the market.