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Employee of the Week

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (CN) - A 79-year-old man says a Target employee punched him in the face because he declined the employee's offer to help him load groceries into his car. He claims the worker punched him out "because he was 'frustrated in not being able to help'."

Thomas McCloud sued Target and Leonidas Calderon, alleging assault and negligent hiring, in Prince George's County Court.

McCloud says he first encountered Calderon inside the Bowie, Md., store when Calderon offered him a shopping cart.

McCloud says he declined the offer and continued shopping.

Calderon approached him again in the parking lot to offer assistance in putting his groceries in his car. That's when things got ugly, McCloud says.

"Defendant Leonidas Calderon became very insisted in helping plaintiff Thomas McCloud load the groceries into his car. Plaintiff Thomas McCloud once again refused.

"Defendant Leonidas Calderon began struggling with Plaintiff McCloud because he was 'frustrated in not being able to help Mr. McCloud. Defendant Leonidas Calderon then struck plaintiff Thomas McCloud in the face, causing serious injuries including, but not limited to, his ear and eye."

McCloud says the assault necessitated laser eye surgery to repair a damaged retina.

He says Target should have known Calderon was an unfit employee capable of violence.

He wants Target and Calderon to pay $900,000 in compensatory damages and $600,000 in punitive damages.

McCloud is represented by Ronald Carp with Karp Frosh of Rockville, Md.

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