A SHOPKEEPER has been left battered and bruised after he was allegedly repeatedly bashed and almost dragged from a store by a man who refused to wear a face mask.
At about 4:15pm on Tuesday, the employee in his 30s was working at a food shop on Mayne Street, Murrurundi, in NSW's Upper Hunter, when a man walked in without a face mask.
The employee offered the man a mask when he allegedly became verbally aggressive towards the worker and stormed out of the shop.
A few minutes later, the man returned and walked behind the counter, before he allegedly assaulted the employee repeatedly and attempted to drag him from the shop while threatening him.
Customers rushed to help the injured man while the alleged attacker fled the scene.
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The shopkeeper was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics for cuts and bruises to his face and swelling to his left eye, before he was taken to Murrurundi hospital.
He has since been released.
Hunter Valley Police District officers were contacted and began to investigate.
Following inquiries, police visited a house on Rosella Street at Murrurundi and arrested a 53-year-old man.
The man was taken to Muswellbrook Police Station where he was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He was granted conditional bail and will appear at Scone Local Court on November 18.