Elderly woman hit, spat on during shopping centre feud
POLICE are investigating after an elderly woman was struck in the face and spat on during a dispute reportedly sparked by smoking in a shopping centre car park.
A good Samaritan who intervened and tried to help the woman was also spat on.
Officers from Tweed Byron Police District were called after the assault at Sunnyside Mall Shopping Centre at Murwillumbah about 11.45am on Thursday, December 17.
Police were informed a man and a woman had been involved in an argument with a 75-year-old woman at the Tweed Shire shopping centre.
The altercation drew the attention of a 48-year-old woman, who tried to help the older woman as the situation escalated.
The good Samaritan attempted to move the two people away from the older woman when one of them, the female, "reportedly swung at the older woman and knocked her glasses from her face, before spitting at her".
Some of the spittle landed on the good Samaritan's face," NSW Police said in a statement.
"The pair then fled the area and police were contacted."
Sunnyside Mall on the corner of Brisbane and Wollumbin streets has CCTV which may be accessed by police to assist with investigations.
The assault was widely reported on Tweed social media pages and was linked to the elderly victim smoking.
"The younger woman was screaming at the older woman for blowing smoke in her face. She said she is four months pregnant and how the smoke would hurt her unborn baby," one woman wrote on Facebook.
"She was so insanely angry I wanted to tell her that the amount of anger would probably hurt the baby so much more."
The couple were reported to be aged in their late 20s or early 30s.
Another man, who claimed to be a witness, said he noticed the assault in his vehicle's rear view mirror: "I parked the car and headed over to lay the scab out, but they'd left by the time I got there."
Another woman, who also claimed to have seen the assault, said the attackers were "totally irrational" and the 75-year-old woman was in "total shock and fear".
Do you know more? Phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Originally published as Elderly woman hit, spat on during shopping centre feud