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A Japanese robbery victim says he will not be letting "one bad Kiwi apple'' take the credit away from New Zealand as a "friendly and caring'' country.
Kiyoshi Inagaki, 58, was knocked out cold, suffered a gash to the back of his head and broken teeth during the attack at a bus stop on the corner of Albert and Wyndham Sts in Auckland last Wednesday.
Mr Inagaki's bag, stolen from him while he was unconscious, was returned to him by the police at the hospital where he was treated for minor injuries. The alleged attacker has been arrested and is facing charges of aggravated robbery.
Alistair Comyn, 39, described by the police as a Good Samaritan, played a key part in helping police make an arrest by tailing the alleged attacker while relaying information to police on his cellphone.
Mr Comyn's friend, Lisa Bradley, and another man, Jimmy Worthylake, looked after Mr Inagaki until the ambulance arrived.
"One bad Kiwi apple caused my injury, but if it wasn't for all the other kind and wonderful Kiwis, I may have been dead,'' Mr Inagaki said.
"So many people have come to help me, and I just want to say thank you and let them know that I still love New Zealand and feel this is a friendly and caring country.''
A hotel operator has offered him free bed-and-breakfast, and Mr Inagaki was yesterday being helped by local Japan Society representatives.
The Japanese government-employed teacher from Shizuoka had to again seek medical treatment yesterday after he blacked out during a meeting at the Auckland District Court.
Mr Inagaki claimed in his report to the police that he was attacked by a man and three women after he rejected their request for money and cigarettes.
"I decided to leave and turned to walk away. As I turned around I felt a punch in my face ... I lost consciousness for maybe two minutes,'' he said in the report.
"Because of the punch, I had bruising to my face and I believe I hit and cut my head on the bus stop. Two of my front teeth were broken.''
Mr Inagaki arrived in Auckland just three weeks before the attack and had planned to raise money for the victims of the Japanese tsunami.
Masa Sekikawa, Japan Society president and police ethnic advisory board member, said Mr Inagaki was recovering well and had been advised to return to Japan as soon as possible.
- By Lincoln Tan of the NZ Herald