Tesco bouncer says crazed panic-buyers threatened him with knives and lamb

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A supermarket bouncer said frenzied panic buyers have threatened him with knives, scissors and even a leg of lamb.

Paul Eite, 43, swapped nightclubs for superstores thinking he would face less aggro.

But he said he had been repeatedly threatened with weapons by hoarding shoppers acting like they were high on cocaine' during Covid-19 lockdown.

He has been slashed with scissors and his team based at Tesco in Portsmouth, Hants, pelted with lamb and a bicycle.

Paul said: "It was anarchy – like dealing with the worst clubbers high on cocaine. Over the previous two years working the doors I had to physically restrain seven people.

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"It took about four hours at Tesco to have to do the same. One shoplifter took a swing at my colleague. Then his friend came over, threw his mountain bike at us and pulled out some scissors.

"I ended up getting my hand cut. It just went on and on. To be fair 90% of the customers were fantastic, given the situation, but there were some who caused us lots of problems.

"On one occasion we had someone trying to kick in the glass doors to get into the store. It was madness.

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"There were customers shouting at disabled people and even two women in their 60s smashing their trolleys into each other because one thought the other was jumping the queue. One had to be taken away in an ambulance.''

Paul, whose Unified Group security business employs 44 at nine bars and restaurants, said panic-buying during the Covid crisis had brought out the worst in shoppers.

"You get to see the worst of people when they think they can’t get the food they want,'' he said. "A lot of the guys I worked with said they didn’t like dealing with sober people after that. Doing the security at Tesco definitely opened my eyes.”

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A Tesco spokesman said while the "vast majority" of customers were "appreciative" the supermarket chain had seen an "increase in violent and aggressive behaviour towards our colleagues and security officers in recent months".

"We do not tolerate abusive behaviour of any kind and we have measures in place to keep our colleagues safe,'' the spokesman said.

This week Asda announced it was beefing up its security across all 421 of its larger UK stores to cope with Christmas panic-buying.

One family of hoarders shoved a child in a pram in a cab boot to make way for all their purchases.

  • Panic buyers stockpile lettuce as France shuts border with UK over Covid strain

Motorists travelling behind the nine-seater Mercedes people carrier could not believe their eyes when they saw the startled infant peering through the rear windscreen surrounded by prezzies.

On-lookers fired off complaints to taxi licensing bosses and police about the incident in Leeds.

A family travelling behind took a photo as the vehicle tackled a notorious accident blackspot roundabout.

One said: "This shows people are behaving like complete idiots. The child was just staring out the back window. Christmas coming up and fears about Tier 4 they have gone out and started panic buying. It was just shocking."

Meanwhile shoppers in Newcastle upon Tyne started queuing outside Marks and Spencer at 7am on Tuesday to stock up on lettuce, broccoli and citrus fruits.

We told yesterday how hoarders were stockpiling the fresh food which may struggle to get to Britain from the continent after France shut its border to stop the transmission of the new fast-spreading strain of coronavirus.

  • Asda
  • Mercedes
  • Tesco
  • Christmas
  • Family

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