A THUG wearing a gas mask blinded a shopkeeper with pepper spray during a broad-daylight robbery attempt.
Longwood shopkeeper Ravinder Singh, 25, was plunged into a state of confusion and panic when the masked robber sprayed her in the face.
But when she screamed out to alert her husband from the store room downstairs, the robber fled empty handed, leaving Mrs Singh shaken and disorientated.
The nasty attack happened at around 10.45am yesterday at The Metro Express newsagents in Thornhill Road, Longwood.
Mrs Singh told the Examiner: “Someone came to the door with a gas mask on. At first I just thought it was a practical joke as it’s the kids’ holidays.
“He walked in casually then started spraying at me.
“It blurred my vision and felt like the skin on my face was burning.
“I screamed out for help and my husband came from downstairs.
“I quickly told him what had happened and he ran after him.
“A couple of our regular customers saw which way he had gone and directed him.
“I then phoned the police and by then my vision was clearing. I was crying and shaking.”
She recalled: “I was sitting low down so I couldn’t see a bottle or container. He was wearing a hoody and a gas mask.
“I couldn’t see if he took anything as it was all a blur.”
Miss Singh was checked out by paramedics who arrived within minutes and confirmed the affects of the spray had caused no lasting damage.
She said: “I had been flooding with tears so I think that helped clear it out.
“I wouldn’t like anyone else to go through that. It was horrible.
“People shouldn’t be able to go round and do stuff like that.
“We have only had the shop three months and thought it was a nice village, then something like this happens in broad daylight.”
She said she would carry on working in the shop but was scared to be on her own.
The West Yorkshire Police helicopter joined the hunt, searching the Milnsbridge and Longwood area for some time after the incident.
A police spokesman said: “We received a call at 10.46am yesterday at Thornhill Road, Longwood.
“A white male, 5ft, slim, wearing a mask, grey hooded top and carrying a black sports bag, had entered the shop and tried to steal items from the counter before running off.
“The suspect sprayed the shopkeeper with pepper spray.
“It would appear that the suspect was trying to steal cigarettes.”
He confirmed no-one had been arrested and urged witnesses to call Huddersfield CID via 101.