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A York City man is accused of stealing a cellphone and punching an employee at a store in mid-October, according to authorities. 

York City Police said Diante Octavio Cotton, 19, stole the phone and repeatedly punched a clerk in the face on Oct. 13.

Cotton, of the 800 block of East King Street, is charged with robbery.

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Incident: Charging documents state that Cotton went to the front of the line at Pak's Food Market at 750 E. Princess St. about 5:30 p.m. that day in an attempt to buy cigars.

The clerk informed Cotton that there were other customers and Cotton would have to wait in line, court documents state.

Cotton left the store but came back and again attempted to go to the front of the line, according to officials.

Cotton was again told to wait, so he went to the back of the line, police said. When he got to the counter, he cursed at the clerk when he handed his money to her, charging documents state.

Police said the clerk told Cotton to leave, and she gave him his money back. Cotton then tried to reach for the cigars over a plastic wall.

Cotton then looked at a cellphone behind the cigars, and he pulled himself over the plastic wall and reached for the phone, police said. 

Another employee  tried to get Cotton away from the counter, and Cotton hit him in the face repeatedly, officials said. Cotton then grabbed the phone and took off, according to authorities.

Police said an anonymous tip provided Cotton's name. Authorities were then able to identify him as the suspect when comparing his ID photo and the person seen in surveillance footage of the store.

Authorities also searched his Facebook page and found him in a photo with the same hoodie he wore during the incident, officials said.

Charges were filed Friday, Oct. 26, and he was arraigned on the charges that day. He was sent to York County Prison for three days before posting $10,000 bail, according to online court records.

A phone number could not be found for him, and he does not have an attorney listed.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 9, at District Judge Linda Williams' office.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.

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