Amherst Co., VA - Michael Mulhern of Amherst is under arrest after sheriff's deputies say he beat up a customer, repeatedly hitting him in the face.
It all happened outside of his job at the Apple Market off the North Amherst Highway. Just before 6 p.m. Wednesday, deputies say the convenience store where Mulhern was employed was the site of a scary beat down.
The sheriff says all signs show that this was an employee who just lost his cool - a customer confrontation that went all wrong.
A "Now accepting applicants" sign is now posted on the front door of the Apple Market north of Amherst after Mulhern was fired.
Sheriff deputies say Mulhern, 48, beat a customer bloody on the pavement just outside the store.
"Our understanding is that there had been an altercation between the first victim and the clerk over a dispute, and prepayment of gas. And some derogatory comments were made between those two," said Amherst County Sheriff Jimmy Ayers.
From there, the sheriff says Mulhern followed the man outside where a fight ensued. Mulhern repeatedly hit the customer in the face.
But he didn't stop there. A woman watching all of this with her children, pleaded with the clerk to stop.
"The aggressor, the store clerk, made a very derogatory comment to her, at about the same time that her husband walked out of the store," said Ayers.
Deputies say Mulhern then took the fight to him. They got on the scene shortly after.
"Mike was a quiet guy. He stayed to himself," said a co-worker.
The co-worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, says this behavior was anything but ordinary for Mulhern, who is a father and a friend.
"It's a shocker. And it would have taken a lot for him to do that. Somebody did something to him for him to act like that," said the co-worker.
"You just have to ignore it, you can't become physically violent when someone upsets you with comments, you just can't," said Ayers.
There was one other Apple Market employee working Wednesday night, but the sheriff says they were dealing with other customers.
For now Mulhern is the only one charged in this incident. He's being held without bond in the Amherst Detention Complex.