The woman who Anchorage police say repeatedly punched a Northway Mall store employee in the head during an assault this week, seen in surveillance video, is now in custody after turning herself in.

Karol Mena, 20, turned herself into police around 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, APD spokesman MJ Thim said. She was arrested and faces an assault charge. 

Officers responded to the mall's Dollar Power store, just before 7 p.m. on Monday after reports of an assault.

According to APD spokeswoman Renee Oistad, an employee greeted the female suspect and two males who stepped into the business. Soon after they arrived and went to the back of the store, the employee heard a “loud crash.” At that point, she asked the group to leave, but the female instead approached and “began screaming at the employee” before knocking over items near the entrance.

“The employee told the female suspect to pick the items up; the female suspect punched the employee multiple times in the face causing the employee to fall to the floor,” Oistad wrote. “After the victim fell, the female suspect climbed on top of her and continued to punch the employee in the face.”

The employee required medical treatment for her injuries, Oistad said.

APD described the suspect who punched the employee as a Hispanic female standing 5-foot-5-inches tall with an average build and a “thick Puerto Rican accent.”

 

“She was wearing a red low-cut shirt and a large jacket with fur on the hood,” Oistad wrote. “The two males were black and slender. One of them was wearing a beanie. The employee stated the three were unknown to her.”

Mall employees say this isn't just a problem at the Northway Mall.

“We’ve seen an increase of crime throughout the city; the concerns are the continuation of these issues that it’s seeming to be that more of our criminals out there know that there is no boundary to just walk in and grab anything," said Northway Mall manager Mao Tosi. "It’s just kind of happening in our dollar store or in our gas station or at our food places around the city. It’s just a regular thing for us all."

Cassie Schirm contributed to this story.

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