A Papamoa superette worker was accosted by two teenage boys on Monday afternoon after he refused to let them borrow a cigarette lighter.
Oasis Superette manager Balwinder Singh said: ``It was about 3pm and one guy came in, he was about 16 or 17, and he asked for a lighter. He didn't want to buy one, he wanted to borrow one,'' Mr Singh said.
"Then when I said no he started screaming at me and said some racist things . . . so I walked out from behind the counter and went outside and that was when I noticed that there were two of them.''
Mr Singh said the boys started trying to punch him and taunting him to fight back.
Mr Singh went back inside and a customer who was inside the store at the time phoned police.
Tauranga Senior Sergeant Cam Anderson said police had a fair idea who the youths were and were following up the matter.