Phone rage customer pepper sprayed at Dunedin store

The Warehouse South Dunedin. Photo: ODT Files
The Warehouse South Dunedin. Photo: ODT Files
Civilised communication was lost at a Dunedin retail store when a man started abusing staff about his broken phone and had to be pepper sprayed while being arrested, police said.

Sergeant Matt Lee, of Dunedin, said police were at The Warehouse store in South Dunedin on an unrelated matter about 10am yesterday, when they heard ‘‘an aggressive’’ 22-year-old male verbally abusing staff at the stationery kiosk.

‘‘The man was frustrated because the phone he had bought a week ago, had broken and The Warehouse would have to send it away to be fixed.

‘‘He was offered a new phone, but that wasn’t good enough. He wanted that phone fixed immediately.

‘‘He started threatening Warehouse staff and on heading towards the exit, he hit and kicked the security panel, and broke it.

‘‘He resisted police during the arrest and OC spray was deployed to successfully arrest him.’’

Sgt Lee said the man was charged with wilful damage, speaking threateningly, resisting police and assaulting police.

He was bailed and would appear in the Dunedin District Court at a later date.