Hornsey Rise shopkeeper knifed in row over apple

A SHOPKEEPER was slashed in the neck by a customer – who returned minutes after a fight over a piece of fruit with a kitchen knife stolen from a neighbouring store.

The knifeman had gone into a nearby household goods shop and stolen the weapon after being accused of pocketing an apple at the grocery store.

He had already assaulted the shopkeeper and one of his colleagues at EDA Food Centre, in Hornsey Road, Hornsey Rise, with a plank of wood minutes earlier.

Witnesses said the man had left threatening to return with a knife and stab and kill them.

Cem Sanli, 20, manager of Hornsey Cafe, which is directly opposite the EDA Food Centre, said: “The man tried to pocket an apple. They told him to pay for it and he lost his temper and knocked over all the crisps.

“The two shopkeepers chased him out into the street. The man broke off a plank of wood from a pallet and hit one of them over the head. The wood snapped on his head. They were all grappling, punching and all sorts.

“The guy said he would be back in about five minutes with a knife. He came back and cut one of them on the neck. I heard the paramedics said if it was a bit deeper, he would have been on the floor dying.”

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The knife was stolen from The Rose Household Store, a few doors down in Hornsey Road. The suspect had asked for a machete before snatching the blade.

The shop’s manager, who did not want to be named, said: “He stole the knife from me. He came in here and asked if I had any machetes. He was huffing and puffing and breathless. I said I only had the knives on display. I also had big meat cleavers, but I didn’t want to show him because he was suspicious. It’s lucky I didn’t.

“Even if they wrongly accused him of stealing the apple, you do not go and do that. It’s not human.”

He saw the man fumbling with something on the pavement outside after leaving the shop – and police later discovered knife packaging in the same spot.

He has had the shop for around nine months, and said the parade is plagued by crime. He added: “This sort of thing happens all the time. I’m regretting buying this shop.”

Police have appealed for information on the attack, which took place at around 2.30pm on Tuesday March 1. The suspect was black and aged between 35 and 45,

Anyone with information should call Islington CID on 020 7421 0162 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.