Customer may have saved lives of dairy owner, family

WARNING: This video contains footage some viewers may find distressing.

A shopkeeper and his family bludgeoned in a vicious attack may have been spared more horrendous injuries - and even death - thanks to a customer who scared off a pair of robbers.

A South Auckland woman said she and her partner had just left the Opaheke Superette and neighbouring takeaway bar on Monday evening when two men raced in front of their vehicle and muscled their way into the store as it was closing.

The witness, who had only moments earlier bought supplies from the dairy, said her partner immediately turned back and bravely confronted the attackers.

"They basically rammed into the sliding door, ripped it up and starting laying into Nanu.

"My partner jumped out of the car and chased in after them and told them to f*** off and they scarpered."

She said the pair initially tried to escape through the back of the shop rather than face the wrath of her strongly built partner.

"As soon as he went in and started yelling they did as they were told.

"He got them out and got them away from the family."

She said his intention was to make sure the family was safe but he may have saved the trio from a far worse fate.

"If he hadn't gone in after him they would have been killed," she said.

The family then stayed inside the store with the roller door down and her partner standing guard until police arrived.

At the time they had no idea if anyone else inside the dairy's adjoining house was injured.

Owner Nanu Patel is nursing cuts and bruises to his face and bruised ribs. His wife Hasumata is sporting a badly damaged eye and their 30-year-old daughter has a broken jaw after being repeatedly hit in the face.

Papakura MP Judith Collins said one of the offenders approached a nearby family claiming to be a victim, but the residents cottoned on quickly and alerted police. The other man was caught by a police dog.

She praised police for finding the pair so quickly.

A 19-year-old and 28-year-old man were due to appear in Manukau District Court on Tuesday charged with aggravated robbery and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

It's the second time the store has been robbed in two months. In October, teenagers entered the shop wielding a hammer and knife and stole cigarettes while Patel was stocking the drinks fridge.

 

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