Distressing video shows an Australian man reportedly suffering a heart attack while being arrested for not wearing a mask as he exercised outdoors – even though he told the cops he was exempt from the strict mandate due to medical reasons.
The man and his partner were exercising at Brisbane Botanical Gardens on Monday when he was caught without the face covering, according to Sky News Australia.
He told the officers that he suffers from heart problems and struggles to breathe so was exempt from the mandate.
But the cops didn’t believe the man had cardiac issues, according to the man’s son Joseph Merlino, who posted the disturbing footage.
The video shows his father telling the officers that the handcuffs were hurting him.
“I’m not confident that you’re going to comply with our directions,” an officer responds.
While being dragged away in cuffs, the man suddenly collapses, cries out in pain, and appears to suffer a seizure as his partner yells, “I told you!”
The heavily panting man also is seen reaching for medicine in his bag as he is held down on the ground.
In a lengthy post on Instagram, Merlino wrote that his dad “did not do anything illegal. He did not retaliate in a violent manner. He was conducting himself in a peaceful manner. Not looking for trouble.
“Why was he handcuffed? Why was he under arrest? What did he do wrong?
This doesn’t make sense. The government is forcing control by any means necessary. Creating fear and bullying tactics to make people not be able to able to have a voice,” he wrote.
Merlino said the episode left him in tears because he “couldn’t do anything or be there for him and feeling as a son to protect his father.”
He added: “His partner was right by his side helping my father as these police had no regard for his well-being making a joke of his seizure and not believing he had heart problems.”
The livid son asked what would have happened had his father been by himself at the time.
“Would my father be still alive? If it wasn’t for my dads partner being there to record this. Being there for him whilst these police were not taking his condition serious?” he wrote.
“My father could have suffered Brain damage from this. Permanent injury or death. All for what because of a mask? Which he had all the medical requirements to not wear one for his own health,” Merlino added.
There are 11 local government areas in South East Queensland under lockdown due to an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta strain, according to Sky News.
Stay-at-home orders have been extended until 4 p.m. Sunday and people are required to wear masks while outdoors.
The Post has reached out to Queensland Police for comment.
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