Anti-masker boasts about lockdown breach
The friend of the young woman who was filmed being "choked" by police during an arrest in Collingwood on Monday earlier bragged about travelling more than 40km outside of lockdown as a "protest".
The man - who filmed the incident that resulted in the 21-year-old being charged with resisting arrest and assaulting police - regularly posts anti-mask, conspiracy theory content on Facebook.
He describes the coronavirus as a "fake virus" and "so cringe", says "gayness isn't real", calls face masks "face diapers" and "the new swastika", and claims "Michelle Obama is transgender".
"Has anybody proved that COVID is real or not?" he wrote in one post yesterday.
"And also what about HIV? Has anybody proved that it causes AIDS yet?"
On Tuesday he posted a photo of a Polaroid of himself sitting on a tree branch.
"Travelled 44kms outside of our 5km radius to get some fresh air and hug some trees," he wrote.
"Doing whatever we need to stay healthy. Breath work in the forest was our Sunday protest to the bullshit."
Victoria Police declined to comment on whether they would be following up to issue any infringements.
Footage of the arrest on Monday went viral and sparked fierce debate.
Some criticised the heavy-handed tactics but many defended the officers and condemned the woman's behaviour and foul language.
Posting the video initially on Facebook, the man described the male officer as a "f**king moron" and said he "has a festering Beelzebub in his guts to act like that".
"Everybody wake up!" he wrote. "Take off that stupid mask and smile, it is not for your health there is nothing to fear."
In a follow-up post he wrote, "DANGER: You are being conditioned to view your freedom as selfish. This massive copper assaulted my friend today for not wearing a mask. Who is the criminal here?"
He added: "This is wrong on so many levels. I don't care what anyone believes about the fake virus, this person has no right assaulting and kidnapping somebody for not covering their face WTF and that's exactly what this is, armed kidnapping and assault."
In another post yesterday, he claimed he had been "assaulted" at a supermarket by a staff member that morning for not wearing a mask.
"She cornered me in the freezer section and would not let me move past her," he said.
"She grabbed my mouth and hit me in the chest multiple times and as a I tried to get away from her she pushed me and kept standing in my way. She hit me in the face three times while people stood around verbally attacking me."
News.com.au understands the alleged "assault" did not occur, and that he was only spoken to by a staff member after a customer complained he wasn't wearing a mask.
"This incident did not occur and we ask that people in our stores to continue to show respect as we work hard to provide a safe shopping experience for everyone," a spokeswoman for the supermarket said.
In the same post, the man said he didn't film the supermarket incident because he had left his phone at home "to take a walk and to do my morning smile delivery" after being inundated with thousands of messages since posting the Monday video.
"I will be sure to keep a camera with me from now on," he wrote.
News.com.au has reached out to the man for comment.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said she would not be providing further details about Monday's arrest, which is now the subject of an internal investigation.
It comes after the friend admitted that the woman gave the middle finger to the officer when he asked for her identification, but said the reaction was excessive.
"The way that they came up to us all intimidating is itself enough," he told 7 News.
"They're meant to make us feel protected, right? We don't feel protected. When they're just looking for a fight and just looking to fine people and just looking to be bullies, that's not lawful."
Originally published as Anti-masker boasts about lockdown breach