NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Police say two men were attacked by a mob of about 20 people after they stopped a shoplifter Tuesday afternoon.
Harold Eley with the Newport News Police Department told WAVY.com officers were dispatched to the Wawa located in the 14000 block of Warwick Boulevard around 3 p.m. for a report of a mob assault. The victims, both 23-year-old men, told police they were working as landscapers for the Wawa when they were attacked by the group.
Eley said the investigation showed the victims stopped a male juvenile from shoplifting in the store. The juvenile left and returned with the group who then attacked the victims with lawn tools as they worked. The majority of the group fled the scene, but officers have since identified two suspects.
Jay Kerivan, 22, and Thomas Lobicano,18, both of Newport News, were charged with two counts each of assault by mob. The victims and witnesses positively identified the two and Eley said Kerivan was identified as the primary aggressor.
“They’re adults, they know better,” customer Shelby Murray told WAVY.com. “I’ve seen people shoplift. I’ve told stores that they were shoplifting and they just let them go. Sometimes it’s just better to let them go and you don’t get assaulted.”
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information should call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.