Police hunt thug who stormed into shop and attacked owner who had thrown him out and told him to come back with a mask in locked down Gateshead
- Nisa shopkeeper in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear was punched twice by customer
- Attack was allegedly sparked when the customer was asked to wear a face mask
- Police have released the CCTV footage of the attack in a bid for further details
The moment a shopkeeper was attacked by a customer for allegedly asking them to wear a face mask has been caught on CCTV.
In the shocking footage, a man wearing a scarf over his face enters a Nisa store in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear on September 13 at 1.45pm.
The man is seen approaching a member of staff, grabbing his shirt and pulling him over the counter to punch him twice.
A man walks into a Nisa store in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear on September 13 around 1.30pm wearing a scarf over his face
The shopkeeper was left with cuts and bruising but was not badly injured.
Chronicle Live reports that the suspect then left the store and fled down the street on foot.
Northumbria Police do not think the attack was related to a robbery and was possibly linked to an argument over the suspect being asked to wear a face mask.
Reportedly the shopkeeper made the request while himself being exempt from wearing one because of underlying health issues.
Police have released the CCTV footage in a bid to uncover further information from potential witnesses.
The suspect grabs the shopkeeper, who isn’t wearing a face mask because of underlying health issues, and drags him onto the counter
The suspect is described as Asian, in his 20s or 30s, of slim build and wearing a grey and black tracksuit.
PC Martine Coxon, of Northumbria Police, said: ‘The victim was working behind the counter but not wearing a mask as he is exempt due to underlying health conditions.
‘Shortly before the assault he had asked a customer to put on a mask but the man challenged the staff member as he was not wearing a mask himself.
The suspect then punches the shopkeeper twice before fleeing the shop on foot. Allegedly the attack was sparked by the shopkeeper asking the man to put on a face mask
‘The man left the store as a result of the verbal altercation and a short time later the suspect has entered the shop and assaulted him.
‘There could be other motives for this attack, and we are keeping an open mind as to why the victim was targeted.
‘However, we are now asking for your help to trace the person responsible for what appears to be an unprovoked attack.
‘This type of violence is completely unacceptable and we are determined to identify them and put them before a criminal court.’