SHOCKED shop workers have told how a woman was punched in the face after she tried to chase a shoplifter.
The shop assistant, understood to be working in the bakery section at Co-op in Eastney Road, Eastney, spotted the suspected thief and confronted him.
Police said he hit the woman, causing cut to her eye and swelling.
The suspect then ran off towards Landguard Road.
A nearby shop worker, who asked not to be named, said: ‘I heard she saw him stealing so she chased after him, I don’t know how far they got and he turned around and punched her full pelt.’
She added: ‘It’s shocking, really I can’t actually believe that someone did it.
‘She shouldn’t have chased him, you should never do that.
‘She put herself in a situation where she was on her own.
‘All I heard was the police helicopter, they were low down.’
Another worker added: ‘It’s not good for anybody, it’s awful.’
The attack happened yesterday morning at 9.47am. Police said the assaulted was reported in nearby Middlesex Road.
A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ‘We received a report at 9.47am on July 26 of an assault on a female employee at the Co-op store.
‘It is reported that when she tried to confront a suspected shoplifter he hit out at her and hit her in the eye, causing a cut and some swelling.
‘She was taken to hospital for treatment.
‘The suspect is reported to have fled to the Languard Road area. Investigations are ongoing.
‘Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting 44160278907.’
A Co-op spokeswoman added: ‘We can confirm that support is being provided to the colleagues affected.
‘The security and safety of our customers and colleagues remains paramount to The Southern Co-operative at all times