Dramatic video shared of shop owners' arrest over mask breach

·News Reporter
·2-min read

Dramatic footage shows the moment two regional NSW shop owners and a customer are arrested by police after refusing to wear a face mask and being involved in a scuffle with the attending officers.

The owners of The Organic Store in Bowral, 100km southwest of Sydney, have since said via their Instagram account they refused to wear the mandatory coverings as they are "unhygienic" in an open food store.

Their store has a rich history of anti-mask and anti-vaxxer content on its Instagram page.

A man and woman are seen with police officers in Bowral, NSW.
Footage of an arrest in Bowral has emerged on social media. Source: Instagram

One previous post shows a sign outside their store informing people they cannot enter if they've had a vaccine in the last 10 to 14 days or are wearing a mask.

Video filmed by a customer on Thursday shows the female store owner, 62, being forced into the back of a police van as the male owner remonstrates with officers over her detainment.

"Walk away!" officers repeatedly tell the man but he persists. 

As the woman is eventually put in the back of the van, she shouts: "idiots!" 

The male store owner is then restrained and forced to the ground by the officers after he is tripped. One of the three officers trying to restrain the man then turns and grabs the phone of the woman filming and says she is under arrest too before the phone is put in her pocket. 

An argument between the woman and an officer can be heard for several minutes after.

NSW Police confirmed all three were taken to Southern Highlands Police station. 

The man, 63, was charged with assaulting an officer and resisting and hindering an officer in execution of their duty. Police allege he pulled an officer's mask from his face during the incident. He was released on bail and is due to appear in Moss Vale Local Court next month.

The customer, 61, received an infringement notice and a $200 fine for not wearing a fitted face covering while indoors. Both women were released with further charges and infringements expected, police say.

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NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Gary Worboys defended the officer's actions during the arrest of the owners.

"They had no intention of complying with the order... it's not on. Police took suitable action," he said on Friday.

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