Arrests after cop brutally ‘rag-dolled’
Victoria Police have charged three men and a woman over a sickening attack that was filmed by a bystander at St Kilda on Sunday morning.
Footage from the bayside suburb 7km from the Melbourne CBD showed two officers attempt to make an arrest shortly after 3am.
The officers were surrounded by six people. One had his head repeatedly smashed into the concrete in an attack described by senior police as "rag-dolling".
Police issued a statement this morning confirming the arrests of a 26-year-old man, a 25-year-old man, a 27-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman.
Two of the men were from Langwarrin, one of the men was from St Kilda and the woman was from Frankston.
All four have been charged with two counts of assaulting police, affray, violent disorder and intentionally causing injury.
The Victorian Police Association's Wayne Gatt said Sunday's attack was "one of the most horrific assaults on a police officer I have seen".
He said it was a miracle the officer was not killed.
"When you see people in the community commit such vicious acts, it is only sheer good fortune that people punched or assaulted in that manner are not killed," he told 3AW radio on Monday.
Victoria Police Superintendent Tony Silva described the attack as one of the most sickening incidents he had seen.
"I would describe it as rag dolling him, smashing his head into the concrete roadway," Mr Silva said.
The footage, peppered with screams from bystanders, features a man wearing a grey-green t-shirt punching one of the officers in the head before pounding his face into the ground.
Paramedics rushed the two officers to Epworth Hospital with serious injuries where they were treated for cuts, abrasion and bruising.
The officer who had his head smashed against the ground was released from hospital earlier today with facial swelling, cuts and bruising to his forehead.
The other officer allegedly attacked will have emergency surgery tonight after he was left with serious injuries to his shoulder.
The man who filmed the attack told Seven News he thought he was witnessing a murder.
Prior to this morning's arrests, Mr Silva implored the group to give themselves up.
"Give yourself up. We're after you, we have a pretty good idea who you are already. Show a bit of remorse. This is not good enough," he told reporters.
"If it means they are going to behave like animals, then it means being locked up like an animal, that's a matter for the justice system.
"His associates or other persons of interest who were behaving like animals with that pack mentality set upon police who were vulnerable on the ground with the suspect," Mr Silva said.
"I've been in the police force for over 30 years and the beauty of my job is I get to see some really great people out there, but I also see the worst of society and what I've seen on this video and what I've seen through this event is the worst of society," he said.
"These people acted like animals. They will find the full force of the law is their future...Victoria Police will spare no expense to bring the five to seven suspects to account."
Victoria's Police Association labelled the attack "senseless". They said they were providing support and care to the officers and would watch with interest how the judiciary responds.
The four individuals charged over the attack are expected to appear before the Melbourne Magistrates' Court today.