A Launceston cafe owner has been left with two broken ribs and a fracture above his cheek after being hit with a fire extinguisher and kicked while on the ground.
The Green Bean co-owner Paul Giddins was attacked at his Cimitiere Street cafe at noon Thursday.
Mr Giddins said someone had come into the cafe and told him there was a man asleep at one of the tables located outside of the cafe.
He went out to talk to the man and ask if he was OK, but was confronted by stern words.
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Mr Giddins said he told the man he could not sleep where he was and headed back into the cafe.
However, a short time later Mr Giddins was told the man was still there sleeping and had taken his shoes off.
The owner went back out to offer the man food and drink, but to also remind him he was not able to sleep there.
"He said to me, 'I'm not sleeping and leave me alone'," Mr Giddins said.
Mr Giddins said he went back inside intending to call the police, but before he was able to the man had followed him into the cafe and squirted a fire extinguisher directly into his face.
"I couldn't see, and I had a mouth full of that stuff," he said.
"He clonked me on the left-hand side of my head and face with the extinguisher, and I fell to the ground."
Mr Giddins said the man then kicked him several times while he was on the ground.
"I thought at one stage 'this is it'. I was pretty vulnerable," he said.
The owner was taken to the Launceston General Hospital where CT scans showed he had sustained two broken ribs and a fracture above his cheek.
Police reported the man fled the scene.
However, police arrested a 25-year-old man at Launceston's Royal Park on Friday in relation to the incident.
The man was charged with assault. He was detained and is set to appear in an after-hours sitting of the Launceston Magistrates Court tonight.
Police thanked witnesses at the scene for providing care to Mr Giddins.
"Bloody sore, really sore, and frustrated maybe. More frustrated that I can't do anything," he said.
"It was unfortunate, but it happened. Can't let it stop you."
The Green Bean had recently launched a new initiative to keep the homeless fed during winter.
The man is not thought to have been one of the homeless who attended.
However, the initiative has been suspended for two weeks while Mr Giddins gets back on his feet and can find a new place to host the evenings.
"I don't know if the building management are going to let me hold it here now," he said.
"They want everybody to feel safe [understandably]."
Mr Giddins said the incident was only caused by one man who was new to town, and he wouldn't let the incident deter him from continuing his work to help others.
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