By Roseanne Tellez

(CBS) – A woman went to a Northwest Indiana retailer to buy a gift and ended up getting assaulted.

Now, Hobart police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect.

CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports.

Nikki Meanovich was at a check-out holding her squirming one-year-old son, Daniel, when she pointed out to a fellow customer at a Ross store in Merrillville that she’d cut the line.

She was ignored, until her 4-year-old daughter, Wrigley, started whining.

“The woman turned around and said, ‘Well, maybe if you had better control on your daughter or you were a better parent you’d just smack her and she’d be quiet,” Meanovich says.

She said she pointed at the woman and started to respond. That’s when all hell broke loose.

“She took her finger and just started poking me,” Meanovich says. “Then she grabbed me by the throat and said, ‘If you ever point at me again, I’ll kill you.'”

Detective Jeremy Ogden showed CBS 2 surveillance video of the suspect leaving the store. He says witnesses back up the victim’s story, but some said “maybe the victim kind of egged on the suspect a little bit.”

Meanovich says she never lost her temper.

“It was just really horrific, and it’s just sad to see that happen and no one from Ross or anyone intervened,” she adds. “They let her leave. They didn’t even call police. I did.”

Managers at Ross referred inquiries to corporate headquarters, but no one there responded Monday.

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