Police have arrested a 27-year-old Hastings woman over an alleged "pistol-whip" attack on a French tourist.
Detective Mike Signal said the woman had been charged with assault with the intent to rob and would appear in Napier District Court tomorrow.
A young French couple freedom camping in Napier have been left shaken after a ''cowardly and despicable'' assault on Saturday night.
Both 22 and in New Zealand on a working holiday, they had parked their campervan at the Whakarire Ave carpark at the end of Westshore Beach for Saturday night.
About 10.45pm, a Maori man and woman approached the van and asked the tourists for a cigarette lighter.
Shortly after, the woman drew a pistol and the man brandished a baseball bat and began a scuffle.
The French man was pistol whipped by the woman across the face.
The tourists tried to attract attention by sounding the campervan's horn, which made the two attackers run away, then went to a nearby house to call the police.
Mr Signal said the offenders had driven off in a silver Subaru legacy or similar type of vehicle.
''This was a cowardly and despicable act on two innocent tourists who were enjoying a visit to Hawke's Bay,'' he said.
''They are understandably very shaken by their ordeal."The French man suffered injuries to his cheek and eye, while the woman was unharmed.Mr Signal said they had been in New Zealand since last month but did not speak English well.
Police interviewed them yesterday with help from an interpreter.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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