Horrific CCTV shows shopkeeper being attacked ‘for asking customer to wear mask’

Horrific CCTV shows shopkeeper being attacked ‘for asking customer to wear mask’

A shopkeeper has been attacked for allegedly asking a customer to wear a face mask.

Police are now looking for the suspect and are appealing from more information after releasing the CCTV footage of the incident.

Officers said a man with a scarf pulled over his face entered a supermarket in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, at about 1.45pm on Sunday, September 13.

He was seen approaching a staff member, grabbing him by his shirt, then pulling him over the counter and punching him twice.

The suspect then left the Nisa shop on Coatsworth Road and fled the area on foot, Chronicle Live reports.

The suspect entered the shop with a scarf on his face

The victim was not badly injured, but suffered some cuts and bruising.

Northumbria Police said they do not think the attack was linked to a robbery, but it was possibly related to an earlier verbal dispute between the suspect and victim.

The shopkeeper – who does not wear a mask due to underlying health conditions – had reportedly asked the customer to wear a face mask, which led to the attack.

Police have released the CCTV footage of the incident and are asking people to help with their investigation.

PC Martine Coxon, of Northumbria Police, said: “We don’t believe this is an attempted robbery and believe it could be related to an earlier verbal altercation in the sho

CCTV footage showed the suspect attacking the victim in the shop

“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 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.

After the attack, the suspect left the shop on foot

“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.”

The suspect is described as Asian, in his 20s or 30s, of slim build and wearing a grey and black tracksuit.

At the time of the attack, he was also wearing a white patterned scarf over his face.

Anyone who knows the man, or has information that may help police, is asked to contact 101 quoting log 530 13/09/20.

You can also report online at the Northumbria Police website or contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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