Maintenance worker robbed at DeSoto Square mall in Bradenton

MANATEE -- A maintenance worker was robbed early Thursday while he was sweeping the parking lot at DeSoto Square mall in Bradenton, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. Before the suspect fled, the victim was able to punch him in the face.

The victim was working about 6:19 a.m., when his assailant approached him from behind, grabbed him around the neck and placed something sharp to his back. The suspect demanded money, and the victim handed over cash, according to a news release.

The suspect let go of the victim. The victim turned around and punched the suspect in the face, knocking him to the ground, according to the sheriff's office. The suspect got up and fled on foot.

Responding deputies searched the area, but didn't find the suspect.

The mall is located 303 U.S. 301 Blvd. W., which is across the street from sheriff's office headquarters.