The father of a Victorian man who was filmed being stomped on by police during an arrest said his son could have died.
Police were called to Cooper Street in the northern suburb of Epping shortly after 4pm on Sunday after reports of a man behaving erratically, Victoria Police said.
Video circulating on social media from a passing car shows six officers surrounding the man who is on the ground of the median strip as sirens ring out. At one point in the video, a police officer can be seen stomping on the man’s head while he is on all fours.
Separate footage posted online showed the moments before the man was apprehended by officers, when police drove their vehicle into him as he stood in the middle of the road.
The man’s father Glenn told Nine News his son “wouldn’t hurt anybody”.
“He didn’t put up a fight... It would be different if he had a gun or a knife” he said.
“They could’ve killed him.
“These people [the arresting officers] need to be held to justice, and be accountable.”
The man, who is a father of three and works as a tradesman, lives with bipolar disorder, Nine News reported.
He was reportedly in an induced coma following the violent arrest, according to his lawyer.
#BREAKING New video shows police drive into a man in Epping before an officer stomped on his head during his arrest yesterday. The man, 32, was unarmed and was earlier at Northern Hospital for mental health help but police say he was aggressive and assaulted an officer. pic.twitter.com/RpzPW8Acyl— Paul Dowsley (@paul_dowsley) September 14, 2020
According to Nine News, he was experiencing a psychotic episode at the time of the arrest.
His father Glenn told The Herald Sun the force police used was “excessive”.
“I feel sick to my guts, I am filled with anger seeing that video. I couldn’t sleep last night, I am full of anger and sadness,” he told the paper.
Victoria Police confirmed in a statement to Yahoo News Australia the arrest would be investigated by the Professional Standards Command.
“Upon arrival the male allegedly became aggressive and damaged a police vehicle while attempting to avoid arrest,” a spokesperson said.
During the incident, a police officer was assaulted and capsicum spray was deployed, they added.
The 32-year-old man, of no fixed address, was arrested and subsequently taken to hospital for assessment.
The police spokesperson described the arrest as a “highly dynamic incident”.
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