Shop owners from an organic food store that banned customers from wearing masks over hygiene concerns have been violently arrested.
The arrest, which took place at The Organic Store in Bowral, NSW yesterday, was captured on camera by a customer who was also arrested at the scene.
The disturbing footage shows two police officers physically restraining shop owner, Victoria, outside her store before shoving her into the back of a police vehicle.
Police then violently slammed Victoria’s husband into the back of the car after he approached the arresting officers demanding answers. The elderly man was then leg-swept onto the footpath and handcuffed by police.
In a statement on social media, the company said police “forcibly arrested” the shop owners “without due cause,” after being called to the premises over the store’s refusal to enforce mask mandates.
A sign in front of the shop reads: “To protect our customers and each other: (1) If you have had any vaccine in the last 10-14 days, please do not enter! (2) For hygiene reasons, no masks in-store, please. Thank you.”
The company’s reasons for not allowing masks inside their store were outlined last week in a post on Instagram.
“Our reasons are clear,” the shop said. “(1) Hygiene – mask wearers constantly touch them. Are they 3 min, 3 days or 3 months old! We are an open food store. Not appropriate. (2) Depleted O2 could result in fainting or worse in store. Not pleasant. (3) We like to hear our customers requests and see their happy faces. Not muzzle them. (4) Simple really. Not law.”
The company’s statement claims police arrived at the premises and engaged in a lengthy conversation with the owners about the current mask mandate. When a female customer began filming the exchange, police allegedly attempted to forcibly remove the woman from the store.
As Victoria attempted to intervene in her customer’s defence, police were said to have pushed Victoria out of the store, before arresting her, her husband, and the female customer.
Following her release, Victoria told Caldron Pool, she and her husband were charged with hindering police, and her husband was additionally charged with assault. No COVID-related charges were laid against the couple.
The couple are set to appear in court in August.