Police in Washington state say a shoplifter with a hatchet sliced off most of a store security guard's ear.

The man pulled a small hatchet out of his waistband Monday afternoon as two security guards were trying to apprehend him at a Fred Meyer store. He swung, chopping off nearly the entire ear of one of the guards, Longview police Sgt. Doug Kazensky told The Daily News.

The guard was taken to a Portland, Ore., hospital for emergency plastic surgery in an attempt to reattach the ear.

The attacker, who remained at large, is accused of taking CDs, bike chains and other small items from the store.

He apparently brought the hatchet to the store with him, police said.