The owners of a dairy are upset and shocked after a dispute over a loaf of bread escalated to an assault and threats from an axe-wielding woman.
The incident at Duke Street Food Mart in Mahora, Hastings, began when a 5-year-old boy entered the dairy to buy a loaf of bread and milk about 5pm yesterday.
The daughter of shopkeepers Paramjit Singh and Manjit Kaur, who did not wish to be named, said the boy returned moments later with his older brother carrying a loaf of "crushed bread".
"He said it wasn't in good condition but it was perfect when we sold it. We said we couldn't swap it.
"They left and minutes after their dad came back, he looked angry."
The girl, who was behind the counter with her 11-year-old brother, said the offender grabbed several loaves of bread and tried to leave the store without paying.
"Mum and dad tried to stop him and grab the bread, that's when the pushing started."
Singh was trying to remove the man from the shop when the offender punched him several times in the head, causing bruising to both eyes, police said.
Singh's wife, who had been working in the shop, then hit the man with a stick and he fled the scene.
A short time later, the man's partner approached the store with an axe and threatened the owners.
"She was swearing and holding the axe," Singh's daughter said.
"A customer in the store started ringing the police. The lady heard the customer on the phone and ran away."
Police said a 26-year-old woman was arrested and charged with possession of an offensive weapon and threatening behaviour. She will appear in Hastings District Court on Monday.
"Mum and dad are upset and shocked because it all happened so fast," the girl told the Herald.
The woman is a regular at the dairy.
"One time she came in crying saying 'my kids are hungry, can I have some money to feed them'," Singh's daughter said.
"We gave her two loaves of bread and she said she would pay us in a week."
Police are still trying to find the man who assaulted the owner.