Amandeep Singh weathered a rain of blows from the would-be robber, then managed to disarm him and use the bat to give as good as he got.
"I smacked him," he said. "After that, he fell to the ground.
"When he stood up, he said, 'I'm bleeding, I'm bleeding.'
Thwarted, the bandit fled empty-handed.
Mr Singh said the man entered the Coles Express about 12.10am yesterday and asked him for car oil.
Suddenly, he rushed Mr Singh, repeatedly punching him and striking him in the head and face with the sawn-off bat.
"He just started beating me with his fists and then he pulled out a baseball bat," Mr Singh told the Herald Sun.
"I am a Sikh, and I wear a turban. He hit me on the turban with the bat, and somehow I managed to grab the bat from his hand and I hit him back.
"He came rushing towards me, and I knew something was wrong. All I know is, my turban saved my life."
The 25-year-old TAFE student spent the night in Maroondah Hospital, where he was treated for facial injuries including a suspected broken nose and severe cuts and bruises.
But he said the attack would not stop him from returning to work at the outlet in Stud Rd, Wantirna South.
"I'm not a coward, so I will be going back to work. I'll be back there on Saturday," he said.
Sen-Det Paul Cosgrove, of Knox police, said Mr Singh had been forced to defend himself from a vicious and brazen attack, and had reacted bravely.
"It's fairly nasty, and there's a fair bit of blood everywhere," Sen-Det Cosgrove said.
"There were no demands. He just attacked. He (Mr Singh) was confident enough to take some evasive action and, as a result, has prevented further harm to himself."
The attacker was described as Caucasian, about 177cm tall, of a thin to medium build.
"I don't hate him," Mr Singh said of his attacker.
"But why would he do this to me? What have I done to him?"
The attack on Mr Singh is one of a number of attempted robberies on late-night convenience store workers in recent months.
Lindsay Connerty, 51, was attacked by a man armed with a 30cm carving knife at a 7-Eleven in Barkly St, St Kilda, in February. He suffered stab wounds to his hands, head, chest and back after vainly trying to use a baseball bat to fend off the thief. [Link]
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