Distressing moment a little girl sits in her handcuffed father’s lap while he pleads with officers after being arrested for not wearing a mask in a park in Sydney’s Covid hotspot
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.
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
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.
NSW reported 1290 new locally acquired cases of Covid on Monday – the highest daily tally ever on record since the pandemic began.
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.
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