Coronavirus: Assault arrest as Gosport man trashes pharmacy in row over queue to get medication

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A MAN stripped, trashed a pharmacy's front desk and ‘threatened to fight staff’ over a prescription after finding a long queue at the building.

Witnesses saw him storming past queueing customers at Rowlands Pharmacy near Forton Medical Centre in Whites Place, Gosport, just before 11.30am.

Once inside, eyewitness Courtney Weir said, he caused a scene after staff told him to join the back of the queue, which stretched into the car park because of social distancing rules imposed in the coronavirus outbreak.

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The 21-year-old, who was waiting to pick up her grandmother's prescription alongside her two-year-old daughter, said: ‘Everyone was standing 2m apart but one guy came along on a push bike and asked if it was the queue – he didn’t seem happy.

An exterior view of Forton Medical Centre and its Rowlands Pharmacy, Gosport, where a 42-year-old man from Gosport was today arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and assault on March 24. Picture: Courtney WeirAn exterior view of Forton Medical Centre and its Rowlands Pharmacy, Gosport, where a 42-year-old man from Gosport was today arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and assault on March 24. Picture: Courtney Weir
An exterior view of Forton Medical Centre and its Rowlands Pharmacy, Gosport, where a 42-year-old man from Gosport was today arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and assault on March 24. Picture: Courtney Weir | Other 3rd Party

‘He tried to cut in but was told he had to wait in line. He started shouting, got really angry and threatened to go inside and get his medication himself.

‘He said he was going to count to 10 and took off his coat, then his jumper and his shirt and started smashing up the till and the counter.’

A 42-year-old man from Gosport has been arrested.

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‘A man in the queue then ran in there and took him outside,' Courtney said.

‘I went inside and the staff were really, really scared.’

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Pharmacy staff took Courtney and her daughter into a secure room as the drama unfolded.

When she emerged five minutes later the police had arrived and the man had disappeared – but a trail of damage was left behind.

‘The whole counter was cleared off and there was loads of stuff behind where the till was,’ she said.

‘I felt really bad for the staff because they kept apologising, but they had nothing to be sorry for.

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‘They’re putting themselves and their families at risk by working there and they got treated awfully.’

A Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman confirmed the man who was arrested remains in custody.

She said: ‘We were called just before 11.30am today to reports of a disturbance at Rowlands Pharmacy, Whites Place, Gosport.

‘A 42-year-old man from Gosport was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and assault, he remains in custody at this time.’

Call 101 quoting 44200109022.