The Waterbury Police are looking to identify the suspect involved in an assault and robbery on Monday.
The owner of the family-owned convenience store said the man came into the store located on 52 E. Farm Street around 4:30 pm and lured her out from behind the counter with a question about detergent before putting her in a chokehold.
"She felt like he was going to kill her," Mary Aybar said. "He was punching my mother in the face while she was on the floor."
Aybar said her mother, Felicia Guerrero, 48, of Waterbury, was dragged to the ground as the suspect reached into his pocket for a weapon.
"She didn’t know if it was a gun or something, but it was a rock that he had," Aybar said. "She told him to take whatever he wanted and not to hurt her anymore."
The ordeal lasted 15 minutes and was caught on camera. A surveillance video shows the suspect coming up behind Guerrero and choking her. The two can be seen grappling with one another before the suspect fled on foot.
"She came within seconds of being choked out," Deputy Chief Fred Spagnolo said. "This is definitely a brazen crime and a random act. We haven’t seen anything like this in the city in a long time."
Police confirmed that the woman was hit by the rock in the back of the head but the woman couldn't remember when NBC Connecticut spoke with her. The rock was left at the scene.
Police said the suspect ran off with the victim's cellphone, cash and other unidentified items.
Aybar said her mother recognized the suspect because he had come in a few times before he attacked her. She believes he was waiting until she was alone.
The suspect is described as male, 5'8" thin build in his early 20's. Anyone with information can contact the Waterbury Detective Bureau at 203-574-6941.