Armed police rush to Belsize Park after shopkeeper allegedly hit with stick

The Good For You store in Haverstock Hill

The Good For You store in Haverstock Hill - Credit: Archant

An armed police squad was called to a Belsize Park shop after a customer allegedly threatened to “put a bullet” in the head of a staff member and then battered him with a stick.

Shopkeeper Ahmed Shweiki, 23, who works in disposables shop Good For You in Haverstock Hill, this week told of his ordeal at the hands of a violent shopper.

The attack took place the day after he had confronted the man – who claimed to be a gangster – for harassing a young girl customer at the shop.

Mr Shweiki said: “The next day he came with a stick, it was a big stick.

“He was threatening and he was saying he works for Russian Mafias or Ukranina mafias, like in a gang.

“So I said ‘I don’t want to see you in my shop otherwise I will call the police’.

“He said ‘I’m going to put a bullet in your head and you will see and the police they know me already’.”

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The man allegedly proceeded to strike Mr Shweiki twice with the stick, on his chest and leg, and then began hurling racist slurs at the shopkeeper and passers-by outside the store.

Mr Shweiki added: “When the police went to arrest him he was threatening to shoot the police.”

Weapons officers and a dog unit were sent to the scene after witnesses told officers the man was carrying a gun.

But Mr Shweiki said he did not see any weapon other than the stick and did not believe the man had a firearm.

A Belsize Park resident who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I was taking my children to gymnastics. It was like something out of a movie and I’ve lived in New York as well.”

A 54-year-old was held over the incident and has been bailed to return to police following further enquiries.

Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Anyone with information can call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.