The 31-year-old dad had reportedly been stopped by police on a walking path in a Covid hotspot by police officers who noticed he was not wearing a mask
The young daughter of a man being berated by police for not wearing a mask in a Covid hotspot has been captured in a video sitting on her dad’s lap to stop police taking him away.
The 31-year-old dad had reportedly been stopped by police on a walking path in George’s Hall, south-west Sydney, on Saturday afternoon, when they noticed he was not wearing a mask.
According to Daily Mail reports, Police alleged he became verbally abusive and aggressive toward the officers when they spoke to him.
‘Officers warned the man on multiple occasions about his conduct before he was arrested,’ NSW Police said.
The man was unable to comfort his daughter, who appeared to be around three or four years in age, as he was handcuffed with his arms behind his back, sprawled on the ground in a park.
A clip of video shot by a passerby who stopped to see what was going on, shows the man yelling while the officer attempted to diffuse the situation.
The man filming offered his two cents, saying, “come on guys, be fair a little bit”.
“He’s got a daughter here, she is by herself. Look, the little girl is scared man,” he said.
The man filming is told to calm down, while police say they will explain the situation to him after they have finished speaking to the father.
The officer’s explanation that the man has “committed an offense” is rebuked by the passerby, who claims he has “[seen] everything” and has not witnessed anything wrong.
Speaking up again, the father tells one of the officers he will not talk to them until his daughter is standing by his side. At this, the officer gestures to the little girl to return to her father.
She walks over to him and plonks herself down in her dad’s lap.
The father then tells police he was “arrested because [he] was filming”.
“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 replies, telling the dad that he has to leave after he does so, reiterating that he has “committed an offence”.
After the man calms down, the officers remove the handcuffs, telling him again that he was arrested because he ignored an earlier warning to get a mask.
But the father insists he did nothing wrong, and was handcuffed while asking the officers to clarify their decision.
The man was released and fined for failing to wear a face mark, with no further action anticipated, police told The Mail.
The park where the bizarre scene took place is in Canterbury-Bankstown local council, which is one of the 12 LGSs with the vast majority of NSW’s Covid cases.
The area is in a stricter lockdown than the rest of Sydney.
Facemasks are compulsory in all public indoor places, including shops, offices and common areas of apartment buildings, as well as outdoors unless exercising.
Those over the age of 18 who do not wear or carry a face mask can be handed hefty fines, while those with exemptions must carry a medical certificate or a statutory declaration.
Both regional and rural parts of NSW are under stay-at-home orders until 10 September.
Greater Sydney’s lockdown has been extended until at least the end of the month.