Leeds & West Yorkshire

Two arrested over Leeds Polish shopkeeper abuse

Bramley Shopping Centre, Leeds Image copyright Google
Image caption The shopkeeper is believed to have been abused verbally at his shop in Bramley

Two people have been arrested after a Polish shopkeeper collapsed as he was verbally abused at his shop in Leeds.

Marek Petzold, 47, who had a pre-existing heart condition, was taken to hospital after the incident at the Bramley Shopping Centre on Tuesday.

West Yorkshire Police said he is now recovering at home.

A 53-year-old man, and a woman aged 39, have been arrested in connection with a racially aggravated public order offence in the Armley area of Leeds.

Read more about this story and others from across West Yorkshire

Mr Petzold's wife, Wioletta, 46, said she was afraid for her husband after he collapsed.

'He stopped breathing'

She said: "He was outside the shop when some people shouted at him 'leave this country' and 'go to your own country'.

"When he came back into the shop, he lost consciousness and I was scared about him because he was in a bad condition with his heart," she said.

"He stopped breathing and I called an ambulance. He went to the hospital and everything is alright with him now."

Mrs Petzold said she believed the attack was linked to the EU referendum result, but said the family had also received messages of support from across the country following the abuse.

"Before this, we were made to feel very welcome, I didn't even imagine that something like this could happen," she said.

Ch Supt Paul Money said the force treated "all reports of hate incidents very seriously".

He said: "We are very conscious of the increased focus on incidents of this nature at this time and hope that people will be reassured to see that we have acted promptly to progress this investigation."

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