A restaurant owner on the NSW Mid-North Coast has been left with facial injuries after he was allegedly attacked by a customer who refused to check in.
The brawl was captured on CCTV and broke out when a man and woman were asked to leave the Forster restaurant for allegedly not wearing masks indoors or checking in using the QR code.
When the couple were told they would have to leave the Anatolia Turkish Cuisine restaurant it is alleged the man picked up a bottle of water and threw it against a wall, smashing it.
The 34-year-old man was then escorted from the restaurant and allegedly punched the owner, Mostafa Jamalifard, on the street.
Mr Jamalifard said he was caught off guard when the man turned violent.
“I went up to them very nicely and said, ‘What’s the problem, how can I help you, you know the rules, especially at this tough time… I need you guys to sign in’.”
“But the guy said ‘I’m not going to follow anything … that’s all bullshit and I’m not going to do that for my personal reasons’.
“I didn’t realise he was going to attack me…punch me in my face. [He] broke my nose… blood fell on the floor, smashed my knees and [he] just ran away.”
The woman, 27, tried to jump the restaurant counter before allegedly biting a 44-year-old customer who was attempting to intervene.
The couple then ran away and Mr Jamalifard said he saw them go to another restaurant but police found them a short time later.
The man was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, affray, intimidation and malicious damage and the woman was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Both were granted conditional bail to appear in Forster Local Court on July 28.
They were also each issued $1,000 fines for failing to comply with COVID-19 orders.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said their behaviour was “disgraceful”.
“People decided it was up to them to make the choice as to whether they logged on to the QR code,” he said.
The owner [who was] trying to do the right thing was physically assaulted.
“Unfortunately these sort of incidents still go on right across the state.”
Mr Jamalifard said he couldn’t believe the altercation was over using a QR code, as it’s “a very simple thing”.
“I’m a bit afraid now, I’m a little bit scared,” he said.
“I’ve told staff if someone starts to argue or make a scene just call the police and shut the door.”