Five charged after confrontation over face masks at Guildford petrol station
By Sourced Externally
September 27, 2021
Five men have been charged following a violent confrontation with police in Sydney’s west.
NSW Police Raptor Squad officers had approached two men outside a Guildford service station on Friday afternoon because neither were allegedly wearing a face mask – a breach of the Public Health Order.
Police allege the men, who are associates of a criminal group, became aggressive, with one punching an officer, prompting a struggle to ensue.
As the pair were arrested, three of their associates arrived and allegedly began making threats towards the officers – forcing them to call for backup which arrived shortly after.
The three men allegedly struggled with police before they were arrested. A knife had been seized for forensic examination.
“There were no reported injuries during the incident,” NSW Police said.
Vision of the incident, captured by an onlooker, appeared to show one officer punch one of the men as he was being arrested.
Raptor Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Jason Weinstein said he made “no apology for the actions of the police who acted within the bounds of the law.”
“If you associate, facilitate or participate in a criminal group you should expect police to be watching you – ensuring every move you make in the public domain is acceptable and consistent with everyone else in the community,” he said.
Two men were taken to Granville Police Station and three others were taken to Auburn Police Station. Three men – aged 21, 19 and 22 – were charged with a number of offences including assaulting police, resisting arrest, and failing to comply with a face-covering direction.
They were refused bail and will appear in Parramatta Local Court on Saturday.
A 20-year-old man was also charged with other offences including hindering police and was granted conditional bail and will appear in Burwood Local Court on Thursday, September 30.
A fifth man – also 20 – is currently under police guard in Westmead Hospital and is expected to be charged upon release.