An Australian man that was handcuffed for not wearing a mask while exercising in the Brisbane Botanical Gardens allegedly suffered a heart attack after his arrest.
In a video posted to Instagram by Joseph Merlino, the man’s son, four Australian police officers are seen confronting the elder Merlino. Brisbane is among a number of Australian localities in Queensland under lockdown orders and mask mandates, according to Sky News Australia.
“He was stopped by 4 police and interrogated as to why he was there? and what he was doing? Why he wasn’t wearing a mask?” Joseph wrote in the post, adding, “My father answered all these questions. He was here for exercise. He doesn’t need to wear a mask as he was exercising and he is exempt from wearing a mask. He suffers from heart problems, struggles to breathe. He carries medication with him at all times.”
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However, despite the elder Merlino’s cooperation, the officers allegedly handcuffed him for violating the mask mandate and allegedly mocked his medical difficulties when he collapsed. (RELATED: ‘She Looked Sick’: Mother Claims 9-Year-Old Was Forced To Wear Mask In 98 Degree Weather While Playing Tennis At Camp)
“Why was he handcuffed? Why was he under arrest? What did he do wrong? This doesn’t make sense,” the younger Merlino asked.
The elder Merlino is seen on the video reaching for his medication, while his exercise partner is heard berating the police, asking, “See, do you believe me now?”
“My father could have suffered Brain damage from this. Permanent injury or death. All for what because of a mask?” Joseph asked.
The Australian government announced on July 30 that it would deploy hundreds of troops to enforce COVID lockdowns and restrictions in Sydney, where protests against the measures drew large crowds earlier in the month.