Police arrest man accused of assaulting police during Melbourne’s anti Covid lockdown protests


Detectives are on the hunt for 10 protesters who allegedly caused havoc at a wild anti-lockdown rally earlier this month, with police releasing photos of the men in the hopes they will soon be identified.

It comes as a 21-year-old man who attended the worldwide ‘freedom’ rally in Kew, in Melbourne’s inner east on September 18, was slapped with cuffs on Thursday and charged with assaulting an officer, recklessly causing injury, and hindering police.

Ugly scenes erupted at demonstrations in Richmond, Burnley and Kew leaving six officers in hospital and numerous others injured.

Pictured: A 21-year-old man who attended the worldwide ‘freedom’ rally in Kew, in Melbourne’s inner east on September 18, was slapped with cuffs and charged with assaulting an officer, recklessly causing injury, and hindering police

Investigators swooped on the Brunswick West man with vision of the arrest showing detectives leading him away on a quiet street into the back of a police vehicle.

‘In addition to this arrest, police have today released images of ten males who they want to speak to in relation to incidents at the rally,’ Victoria police said.

One man police want to speak to is captured wearing protective goggles and a ‘Make Australia Great Again’ cap, the other is seen in a black face covering and dark sunglasses.

Police believe this man wearing a 'Make Australia Great Again' cap can assist police with their inquiries

Police believe this man wearing a ‘Make Australia Great Again’ cap can assist police with their inquiries

Police believe this man wearing a face covering and dark sunglasses can assist police with their inquiries

Police believe this man wearing a face covering and dark sunglasses can assist police with their inquiries

Anti-lockdown sentiment has been rife in Melbourne with the city having lived under stay-at-home orders longer than any other place in the world.

More than 1,000 demonstrators on September 19 turned out in full-force to protest against the harsh lockdown rules as the riotous mob swarmed in front of traffic in Richmond, in the Victorian capital’s inner suburbs.

The violent protesters even overpowered police officers storming through a police blockade.

Seven others may also be able to assist with enquiries in relation to other.

They are urging anyone who may know the identify of the men pictured to come forward and immediately contact police.

The man in the cap and sunglasses is sought by police for questioning

The man in the motorbike helmet is sought by police for questioning

The man in the cap and sunglasses (left) along with the man in the motorbike helmet are both sought for questioning by police 

One of the ten men whose photo was released is pictured struggling with a police officer

One of the ten men whose photo was released is pictured struggling with a police officer

Police want to speak to the man the man wearing red protective goggles

Police want to speak to the man the man pictured in the dark cap

Police want to speak to the man wearing red protective goggles (left) and the man wearing a dark cap (right)

The man pictured may be able to assist police with their inquires related to alleged incidents of affray and assaulting police

The man pictured may be able to assist police with their inquires related to alleged incidents of affray and assaulting police

The man in the orange hard hat is sought for questioning by police

The man wearing a black cap and dark sunglasses is sought for questioning by police

The man in the orange hard hat (left) and the man wearing a black cap and dark sunglasses are both sought for questioning by police

Commander Mark Galliott said at the time of the demonstration bottles and stones were thrown at officers and that an emergency vehicle was severely damaged.

‘Angry aggressive young males (were) there to fight the police, not to protest about freedoms,’ he said.

Demonstrators met outside the Richmond Town Hall on Bridge Road at midday and were seen chanting ‘free our children’ and ‘you serve us’ before the protests turned violent.

Scenes escalated as the group reached Burnley Street, with police forced to deploy capsicum spray before arresting dozens of protesters as others taunted and hurled abuse at them.

Police dodged traffic cones, bottles, flares and smoke bombs after angry protesters hurled the items at the blockade.

A frenzied mob of protesters burst through a police line in Richmond and trampled over officers knocked to the ground

A frenzied mob of protesters burst through a police line in Richmond and trampled over officers knocked to the ground 

Demonstrators stormed through police lines in Richmond and trampled on officers as they tried to fend off the crowd

Demonstrators stormed through police lines in Richmond and trampled on officers as they tried to fend off the crowd

One woman was seen holding her face in agony as police deployed capsicum spray to try and contain the crowds

One woman was seen holding her face in agony as police deployed capsicum spray to try and contain the crowds

The Melbourne protest drew demonstrators of all walks from life, including tradies wearing fluro outfits and youths shielding their faces with masks

The Melbourne protest drew demonstrators of all walks from life, including tradies wearing fluro outfits and youths shielding their faces with masks  

Shocking footage captured the moment a mob of frenzied protesters broke burst through a police line while screaming ‘f*** you dogs’ and trampling on officers knocked to the ground.

At one point a group of protesters reportedly broke through the gate of an apartment complex as police moved in on them.

Just 12 days later Victoria has notched up a record high number of daily Covid cases with 1438 infections, as well as five more deaths.

The 21-year-old placed under arrest has since been granted bail and will appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on April 14, 2022.

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