Two store employees followed the suspect and then pointed him out to a patrolling police officer. The suspect was arrested without incident.
Tim Arensberg, owner of Arensberg Shoes, 825 Mass., was hit in the nose by the 26-year-old suspect when Arensberg tried to stop the suspect from leaving, Lawrence Police and store employees said. Arensberg was taken by Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical to Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
Shortly after 1 p.m., the suspect entered the store and tried on the $65 Airwalk shoes, employee Gabe Gutierrez said.
"Tim was suspicious of him right away and said for us to watch him," Gutierrez said.
The suspect put the shoes on and then walked out a back door, Gutierrez said. Arensberg went after the man and brought him back inside.
"He was apologizing (to Tim), and then he hit him in the nose and took off," Gutierrez said.
While Arensberg got a towel and put it to his nose, Gutierrez and co-worker Josh Begert followed the suspect out the store and trailed him.
Police had been notified of the incident, and an officer was flagged down by Gutierrez and Begert. The officer arrested the suspect along a railroad right-of-way between Kentucky and Vermont streets north of Sixth Street, police spokesman Sgt. Mark Warren said.
The suspect was taken to the Douglas County Jail pending filing of charges.
Arensberg was treated and released at LMH, a nursing supervisor said.
-- Staff writer Mike Belt can be reached at 832-7165.