Police officer punched in face during routine questioning

A man was filmed allegedly punching a police officer in a full-blown assault captured on camera during a routine traffic stop in Western Sydney.

The hit occurred as Emad Khassem was being arrested at Merrylands before he fled.

The law eventually caught up with 32-year-old, but not without a struggle.

In the video he repeatedly ignores instructions from a police inspector to get on the ground.

The man was being arrested following a routine traffic stop. Source: 7 News
The man was being arrested following a routine traffic stop. Source: 7 News
He appeared to be pepper sprayed. Source: 7 News
He appeared to be pepper sprayed. Source: 7 News
Before throwing the punch. Source: 7 News
Before throwing the punch. Source: 7 News

The officer then appears to pepper spray him in the face.

The incident is an all-too common occurrence for police on the beat, according to former detective Tim Priest.

"Typical these days of what police are confronted with, there's just absolutely no respect for authority anymore," Mr Priest told 7 News.

Police chased the man down, arresting him near the shopping centre. Source: 7 News
Police chased the man down, arresting him near the shopping centre. Source: 7 News

Mr Khassem was charged with resist arrest and assaulting police although it's not clear what led to him apparently being pepper-sprayed.

NSW Council of Civil Liberties Stephen Blanks said the officer's actions would be examined.

"It's clearly something which is going to have to examined in its whole context when the matter goes to court," he said.

The possible use of pepper spray would be examined in court. Source: 7 News
The possible use of pepper spray would be examined in court. Source: 7 News

Witnesses say prior to the alleged punch, police were speaking with Mr Khassem for 30 minutes.

The situation slowly escalated to the point where he lashed out before he ran off down this footpath across the road into the Merrylands shopping centre, where he attempted to hide out in the back room of a hair salon.

He will face court Wednesday. Source: 7 News
He will face court Wednesday. Source: 7 News

Security guards kept watch as police sprinted to the salon, where they arrested him, finally leading him away in front of bemused customers.

Mr Khassem was released on bail is due to appear in court on Wednesday.

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