Man in court after armed police response to 'scary' supermarket incident

A 27-year-old  man will appear in court in Dunedin this morning after allegedly assaulting a supermarket worker and threatening to shoot police in Mosgiel.

The man and a woman were apprehended in Memorial Park after police were called following reports of a man acting ‘‘aggressively’’ at Countdown in Gordon Rd about noon yesterday.

A police spokeswoman said the man was ‘‘threatening staff’’ at the supermarket and allegedly assaulted a staff member.

A man who works at a Gordon Rd business said he saw police, some armed, flood the area as the alleged offender, then on the loose, laughed, said he was armed and threatened to shoot police.

It was unclear whether the alleged offender actually had a gun, the man said.

Police declined to say if he had been armed.

Police arrest a man in Memorial Park, Mosgiel, yesterday, after he allegedly assaulted a...
Police arrest a man in Memorial Park, Mosgiel, yesterday, after he allegedly assaulted a supermarket worker. PHOTO: STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

At least one school, Taieri College, was locked down during the lunchtime incident.

A Countdown spokeswoman said staff were shaken, but safe.

‘‘Everyone is being offered support, including counselling.’’

The man, wearing a medical mask and lying on the ground, was surrounded by police in Memorial Park about 1pm, before being put into a squad car.

A woman with him, who was also wearing a medical mask, was also on the ground. She was taken to a unmarked police car.

About six police cars, armed offenders squad members and a dog unit were at the scene.

Three secondary schoolgirls, all of Mosgiel, said the pair stopped to ask them where the closest public toilets were before the arrest.

The girls mentioned to the pair that police were looking for someone who said they had a gun.

The man laughed, they said, and replied: "Isn’t that funny."

He had been acting "passive aggressive" and "dodgy", and the woman would not speak, the girls said.

"It was really scary."

The pupils said the pair had been going in and out of a nearby school. The man was on a bike and the woman was on a scooter.

The man was charged with possession of an offensive weapon.

molly.houseman@odt.co.nz

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