Shoppers stunned by attack on checkout operator
A man who attacked a teenage supermarket checkout operator, punching him and biting his finger while stunned shoppers looked on, has been charged with assault.
A bystander in the Countdown supermarket at The Palms Shopping Centre said the young man was repeatedly punched while staff yelled at the alleged attacker to stop.
She said the incident was upsetting and the scream the young man let out when his finger was apparently bitten was disturbing.
The incident happened shortly after 9am last Friday.
Mall security staff eventually pulled the pair apart, prompting one to allegedly yell to the teenager that he was going to come back and kill him.
Security guard Harley Yaxley said the man, who walked into Countdown looked about 1.9 metres tall and weighed about 150 kilograms.
He believed the man and the teenager knew each other and the attack was apparently a dispute over $30 worth of car parts.
Police said a 50-year-old man was charged with assault and resisting police.
He appeared in the district court that day and was granted bail to appear at the Nga Hau e Wha Marae court on July 20.
The alleged assault was "not at the serious end", a police spokesman said.
Countdown said the checkout operator was back at work.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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