A Mount Maunganui good Samaritan was left bloodied, bruised and concussed after he was king-hit while helping his neighbour confront an alleged thief.
Mountain biker and Cycle Obsession store owner Kris Snow said he “didn’t see anything coming” when he was struck outside his store at the Central Parade shopping centre last week.
A week later, Snow was still suffering from head-splitting headaches and a suspected broken nose – and waiting for a referral to a concussion specialist.
The incident comes as another Mount Maunganui shop owner was threatened by three males brandishing a metal bar, and third business was targeted and had items stolen.
In March, a thief stole a $17,000 Pivot Shuttle e-bike from Cycle Obsession but failed to steal the bike’s charger.
Snow said he was working at the shop about midday on Wednesday when he heard screaming from outside.
Snow and one of his team members ran out of the shop to see two employees from the bakery next door “having a bit of a tussle” with a young person on a bike.
Both bakery staff members, a brother and sister, were holding on to the bike, preventing him from leaving.
“She was screaming,” Snow said.
Snow said it appeared the young person had stolen from them.
Snow said he normally tried to “help out in these situations”, but was unaware the young person was part of a larger group.
“I grabbed on to the bike, so there were three of us holding on to it. I just said to this young fella, ‘Pay the bill and you can leave’.”
Snow said he told the young man police didn’t need to get involved, but that he wasn’t leaving until he’d paid his bill.
“Cars had stopped in the street and everyone was filming.”
Then a second young person grabbed the bike, Snow said.
“I said the same thing: ‘Mate, no one’s leaving until you pay the bill.’”
At this stage, Snow said he realised there were more than two young people involved.
“I thought, ‘This is not looking good’.
“I couldn’t keep my eye on all of them because there were three different sides.”
Then, “out of the blue”, Snow was struck in the head.
“I didn’t see anything coming,” Snow said.
“He just ran in from the side and he king-hit me with his fist, and he had a big ring on his finger, and that’s the part that split my face.
“Blood just kept gushing out of my head. I couldn’t see much, and I was just trying to stop the bleeding.”
Snow said the attack brought the incident from “level two to level 10″.
“Up until then, it wasn’t anything serious at all. It was just us pleading with him to pay the bill.”
Snow said he heard one of his staff members being threatened while one of the young people “just started swinging wildly in every direction”.
“At that point, everybody let go of the bike and [the young people] jumped on their bikes and took off.”
Snow said he couldn’t see anything out of one of his eyes.
Staff from the nearby pharmacy dressed the wound to stop the bleeding and helped him to the medical centre.
Snow received six stitches to his face and “a few Steri-Strips”.
“I think I’ve got a broken nose. But the concussion is the worst part. It feels like a drill bit running through my forehead when it’s really bad.”
A week after the incident, Snow said the headaches were not getting any better. He was waiting for a referral to a concussion specialist.
However, Snow was determined to go to Whaka 100 in Rotorua over Labour weekend to see his wife and son compete.
“My wife drove,” Snow said.
“I was there to support them. It might be a while before I can ride again.”
In the days after the incident, flowers and food were delivered to Snow’s shop.
“I think there’s rage out there that this kind of violence is happening.”
Parade Bakery and Cafe was contacted for comment.
In a statement, a police spokesperson said a youth allegedly stole food items from a Mount Maunganui Rd store shortly before midday on October 18.
The spokesperson said the youth was with three other young people.
“The group was stopped by a store owner and other bystanders outside, who attempted to grab the young peoples’ bikes to stop them leaving,” the spokesperson said.
“Two of the adults attempting to stop the young people were assaulted by two of the young people.”
The spokesperson said one male youth has been charged with shoplifting and aggravated assault, while another was charged with assault.
Maryana Garcia is a regional reporter writing for the Rotorua Daily Post and the Bay of Plenty Times. She covers local issues, health and crime.