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A man who removed the keys from a car that had been skidding and doing burnouts along Viscount Rd, in Waldronville, south of Dunedin, was allegedly assaulted by the driver and a friend on Saturday night.
Constable Donna Luff said the car containing two men and three women was fish-tailing and spinning wheels about 6pm before being parked in Canberra Pl.
A resident concerned for the safety of children on the street called her husband and when he arrived he saw the car's occupants returning to the vehicle.
He removed the keys from the vehicle and was assaulted, Const Luff said.
His wife, who tried to help, was also assaulted, she said. They were not hurt.
Police were speaking to the occupants and charges were expected to be laid, Const Luff said.