Man mugged while eating lunch outside his Bradenton office

MANATEE - An employee of the Manatee County Early Learning Center was mugged outside his office earlier this afternoon, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The employee was sitting in the courtyard outside the Early Learning Center, in the 3500 block of Ninth Street West, when he was approached about 12:20 p.m. by what he described as three teenagers who had entered through a gate on the north side of the property.

The suspects, one of whom was holding a hammer, surrounded the employee and one said, "Give me your wallet." The employee pointed at his rear left side pocket, and one of the suspects reached in and took it, according to a sheriff's office news release.

One of the suspects then punched the employee on the left side of the neck. The suspects then ran to the north.

A perimeter was set and the Bradenton Police Department's police dog unit responded to the scene, but it was unable to locate the suspects, the sheriff's office said.

The suspects were described as each being between 16 and 19 years old. One of them was wearing a bandana mask and blue shirt; one was wearing a teal shirt and black ball cap; and the third was wearing a black shirt, according to the sheriff's office.