VIDEO: Clerk attacked, robbed at cell phone store in Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – For Mohammad Tabakhna, it was supposed to be the happiest time of the year. It was Dec. 22, just days before Christmas. The Tampa husband and father of two couldn’t wait to get home to his family. 

That day, he came close to dying.

The 30-year-old still has a hard time processing everything that happened.

It was the most terrifying 60 seconds of his life.

Just before noon, two masked men burst through the door of Mohammad’s Palm River store, Cell Tech.

They had guns drawn, he says, and quickly began a brutal beating.

During the terrifying ordeal, Mohammad focused on one thing as he stared down the barrel of loaded guns: his family.

He remembers the moment.

“Unbelievable. I almost die,” he said. “I always thank God about, he don’t shoot.”

Although the two men did not fire their weapons, they would pistol-whip the young family man and point guns in his face before it was all over that morning.

In fact, Mohammad suffered a head injury that left him with nerve damage in his hand. Now, he struggles to work at the store where he specializes in cell phone repair.

That day, he just tried to stay alive for his wife and two little boys, telling the two bad guys, “Take anything you want! Leave me alone!”

They did.

The two masked men took off running.  They left Mohammad alive, but they are still out there.

Detectives with the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office are hopeful that with crystal clear surveillance video, someone out there willing to do the right thing will turn in the two crooks.

Detectives are hoping the armed suspect’s bright blue Nike shoes will help lead to his identification.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8200. To be eligible for a cash reward, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), report anonymously online at or send a mobile tip using their P3 Tips Mobile app.

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