Police were hunting a knife-wielding man after he threatened a person near the Square Edge building on The Square, in Palmerston North.
Police and a dog searched the building yesterday, but the man escaped. A victim was taken to the police station, police confirmed.
Police said the man was thought to have been carrying a brown satchel and had a bandage on his arm.
OE Cafe employee Elise Perrie was clearing plates when she saw a man wearing a hat run through the area about 1.30pm.
"He just charged through the store. There was an older guy right behind him.
"It looked like he was chasing him. I didn't see a knife but it seemed pretty strange."
Senior Sergeant Phil Ward said police were called to the cafe about 1.15pm after a person was threatened by a knife-wielding man.
Police surrounded the building for about an hour while they looked for the man. It is understood he escaped. As of this morning, police were yet to find him.
Constable Steve Field, of Palmerston North, said police were working through what happened, but it seemed there was a confrontation and a theft.
- Manawatu Standard
Should Manawatu's earthquake-prone buildings be yellow-stickered?Related story: Council won't use earthquake-risk stickers