CCTV shows shopkeeper being attacked after asking customer to wear face mask

A shopkeeper was violently attacked by a customer shortly after allegedly asking him to put on a face mask, as shown in shocking CCTV.

Detectives are hunting the violent thug responsible and are asking for help from the public to identify him.

At about 1.45pm on Sunday, September 13, a man with a scarf pulled over his face entered the Nisa shop on Coatsworth Road, Gateshead, Chronicle Live reports.

He approached the sole staff member, grabbed him by his shirt, pulled him over the counter and punched him twice.

The man then left the store and fled the area on foot.

Thankfully the victim wasn’t badly injured but he did suffer minor cuts and bruising.

Officers do not believe the attack was linked to a robbery but instead possibly related to an earlier verbal altercation between the suspect and victim.

An investigation to identify the person is ongoing and now police have released CCTV footage of the attack as they ask for help from the public.

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 shop.

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"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.

"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. 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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