A confused little girl sat in her father’s arms as he was berated by two police officers for not wearing a mask in a Covid hotspot.
But he was unable to comfort her as he was handcuffed with his arms behind his back, sprawled on the ground in a park in south-west Sydney.
The distressed father, 31, had been stopped by police on a walking path in Garrison Point Reserve, in George’s Hall, about 2.20pm on Saturday.
Police alleged he became verbally abusive and aggressive toward the officers when they spoke to him about not wearing a mask.
‘Officers warned the man on multiple occasions about his conduct before he was arrested,’ NSW Police told Daily Mail Australia.
The incident comes as New South Wales declared 1,290 new cases – the majority of Australia’s record 1,355 cases reported on Monday – as the nation struggles to contain the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.
Officials warned on Monday that the state – the epicentre of its current COVID-19 outbreak, will hit a peak in intensive care hospitalisations in October as cases accumulate, amid reporting the record daily rise in new infections.
A man was filmed being arrested in George’s Hall, in the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA in Sydney’s Covid hit south-western suburbs, for breaching a health order
New South Wales declared a record 1,290 new cases as the nation struggles to contain the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, with over 1,300 nationwide
George’s Hall is in Canterbury-Bankstown local council, which is one of the 12 LGAs with the vast majority of NSW’s Covid cases and are in a stricter lockdown than the rest of Sydney.
Video shot by a passerby who stopped to intervene shows the man yelling as the officers tell him to calm down.
‘Come on guys, be fair a little bit,’ the man filming said.
‘He’s got a daughter here, she is by herself. Look, the little girl is scared man.’
The officers tell the man filming to calm down and they will explain the situation to him after they have finished speaking to the father.
‘He’s committed an offence,’ the officer says.
‘He hasn’t committed an offence – I walked past and saw everything,’ the man filming rebuts.
The father tells one of the officers he will not speak to them until his daughter is standing by his side.
The officers called his daughter over to go back to her dad after he refused to co-operate, with the toddler walking over and sitting down in her father’s lap
The officer gestures to the little girl to return her father, with the toddler walking over and plonking down in her dad’s lap.
The man filming tries to interrupt the arrest, but moves back after an officer warns he is hindering police.
‘I was arrested because I was filming,’ the father cries.
‘No, you were arrested because you committed an offence. We asked you to get a mask,’ the officer replies.
‘I told you I am going to drop my daughter off with my sister-in-law then I am going to go for a run,’ the man says.
One of the cops replied: ‘But then you have to leave. You committed an offence.’
The officers remove the handcuffs after the man calms down and reiterate that he was arrested because he ignored an earlier warning to get a mask.
However, the father insists he did nothing wrong and was handcuffed while asking the officers to clarify their direction.
The father claimed he was arrested after asking the officers to clarify a warning over a public health breach
NSW Police told Daily Mail Australia the 31-year-old man was stopped and spoken to by police for not wearing a face covering as officers conducted Covid compliance checks along Beatty Parade.
‘He was unable to provide a valid explanation or exemption,’ NSW Police said.
‘The man allegedly became verbally abusive and aggressive toward police as they continued with their duties.
‘Officers warned the man on multiple occasions about his conduct before he was arrested.’
The man was released and fined for failing to wear a face mark, with no further action anticipated, police said.
Under NSW’s state-wide lockdown, residents are only allowed to leave home for essential reasons, such as authorised work, exercise, healthcare, to buy vital goods, or to be vaccinated.
Face masks are mandatory in all public indoor places – including shops, offices, and common areas of apartment buildings – and outdoors unless exercising.
Police patrol Bankstown in western Sydney to enforce the lockdown. Like Canterbury-Bankstown, when the man was arrested, it’s under harsher restrictions than the rest of the city.
Those over 18 who do not wear or carry a face mask can be slapped with a $500 fine, with $80 and $40 penalties in place for younger age groups.
Anyone with an exemption must either carry a medical certificate issued by a doctor or a statutory declaration.
Those in Sydney’s 12 local councils and 12 suburbs of Penrith council under ultra-hard lockdown are only allowed permitted to exercise for an hour a day and cannot leave home from 9pm to 5am.
These are include Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, and Strathfield.
The same rules apply to residents in the Penrith suburbs of Caddens, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Erskine Park, Kemps Creek, Kingswood, Mount Vernon, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, St Clair and St Marys.
Permits are also required for authorised workers travelling in or out of the LGAs of concern.
Regional and rural parts of NSW are under stay-at-home orders until 10 September, while Greater Sydney’s lockdown has been extended until at least the end of that month.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state was preparing for additional hospitalisations as infections pile up, before increased vaccination coverage start to ease the pressure.
‘We anticipate that the worst month, the worst time for our intensive care unit will be in October,’ Berejiklian said in the state capital Sydney.
‘We will need to manage things differently because we are in the middle of a pandemic, but we will cope.’
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state was preparing for additional hospitalisations as infections pile up, before increased vaccination coverage start to ease the pressure. Pictured: Berejiklian speaking during a Covid-19 update on Monday, August 30, 2021
There are 840 people in hospital for COVID-19 in New South Wales, with 137 in intensive care and 48 requiring ventilation.
The state reported four additional fatalities on Monday, taking the COVID-19 death toll to 1,003 in Australia, the last of the Group of 20 big economies to exceed that milestone.
Nationwide, there was a record 1,375 new COVID-19 cases reported.
Australia has used a system of strict lockdowns and quarantine to keep coronavirus infection and death rates lower than in most comparable nations, however the Delta variant is now pressuring health services.
Just over 33% of those aged 16 and older have received two vaccine doses, well below most comparable nations, according to government data.
The delays were partly because of changed health advice over the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was to be the backbone of the country’s immunisation programme, after rare cases of blood clots among some recipients.
The pace of vaccination in Australia has since risen to a seven-day average of more than 250,000 doses a day, the fastest rate ever, according to a Reuters analysis.
Australia ‘s second-most populous state, Victoria, reported 73 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, a day after Premier Dan Andrews said he would extend lockdown measures as daily infections reached the highest in a year.
NSW face mask rules during Covid lockdown
- You must wear a face mask at indoor non-residential premises in NSW
- You must wear a face mask when using public transport
- You must wear a face mask in a major recreation facility
- You must carry a face mask with you at all times if you are in the local government areas of Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour
- You must wear a face mask if you go outside in a public area in the Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, and Strathfield local government areas
- You must wear a face mask if you go out in the following suburbs in the Penrith local government area: Caddens, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Erskine Park, Kemps Creek, Kingswood, Mount Vernon, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, St Clair and St Marys.
- You must wear a face mask when travelling in a vehicle with a person you do not live with
- You must wear a face mask in Greater Sydney residential building common areas.
Source: NSW Police
Source: Daily Mail UK