Supermarket attack ‘equivalent to common assault’
A HOWRAH man has told of his shock as he watched a customer pour milk all over a supermarket counter and staff member because he disagreed with product limits.
The man, who asked not to be named, said the incident occurred at the Shoreline Plaza Woolworths on Wednesday, between 9.30am and 10am.
"The male shopper was told he had too many cartons of milk by the girl on the cash register," the witness told the Mercury.
"The man became aggressive and said if he couldn't have it, then no one could.
"He then proceeded to open it and tip it out all over the cash register and the poor girl serving him."
The man said other customers in the "packed" store were left stunned by the man's actions.
"It all happened pretty quickly, people didn't even have a chance to intervene," he said.
"He didn't hang around long, but the store manager followed him and in no uncertain terms told him he was banned.
"No employee anywhere should have to put up with that, it's equivalent to common assault."
Woolworths said staff members' safety was its "top priority".
"We do not tolerate aggressive or abusive behaviour towards them in any circumstance," a spokesman said.
"Our team members are doing the very best they can during these challenging times and we ask our customers to remain respectful in our stores."
Premier Peter Gutwein on Thursday cautioned Tasmanians against panic buying, labelling mass stockpiling and poor behaviour in supermarkets "un-Australian".
"Be sensible in your purchases, be mindful of others and treat others with respect," he said. "There is no need for panic buying."
Mr Gutwein said he had spoken with Coles, Woolworths and independent grocers on Wednesday, and was assured supply would continue "even in the worst circumstances".
"The supply chains remain open. Even at the very worst they will still be able to supply Tasmania,'' he said.
"It's quite normal and understandable to want to stock up and take extra precautions, but we're not going to run out.
"The things you will need will continue to come, so be kind to each other, and importantly, be Tasmanian. We're all in this together."
Originally published as Supermarket attack 'equivalent to common assault'