Shocking video showed the tradesman (above) appearing to be stomped on the head by a police officer
Victoria Police has suspended a senior constable involved in a horrific incident where a tradesman was stomped on the head and rammed by a police car in a ‘barbaric arrest’.
Police confirmed the officer has been suspended with pay as Timothy Atkins, 32, remains in an induced coma following the incident at Epping, in Melbourne’s north, on Sunday.
It comes as Mr Atkins’ wife reveals authorities left her in the dark about the violent incident until she saw video of it on social media and the family demands an independent investigation.
The ‘gentle giant’ tradesman had been seeking psychiatric treatment at the Northern Hospital but left after his family said he waited more than a day for a bed.
That led doctors to call police who attempted to arrest him in dramatic scenes in front of shocked eyewitnesses after 4pm.
Bystanders Jake Edwards and his partner George Michael filmed the incident from their car, with their footage of the stomping incident going viral.
Mr Edwards said the wife had allowed them to tell media on her behalf that he is a loving dad.
‘She was not notified by the hospital until 10pm at night, and as of (Monday afternoon) still hasn’t been contacted by Victoria Police,’ Mr Edwards claimed to Daily Mail Australia.
The tradesman remains in an induced coma after video appeared to show him being kicked in the head during a brutal arrest after 4pm on Sunday in Epping, Victoria
Mr Atkins remains
Mr Atkins’ wife told Seven News she first learned about the incident after seeing the violent video on social media – rather than from police – and has lodged a formal complaint about the arrest.
The family’s lawyer Jeremy King, an expert in police misconduct, said on Tuesday that the officer allegedly involved should be stood down, adding the clan were ‘devastated’ by the incident.
‘Given the nature of that conduct, I think it would be appropriate for the police officer to be stood down while independently investigated,’ Mr King told the Today Show.
Victoria Police has announced a senior constable has been suspended over the incident and its internal Professional Standards Command is investigating.
‘The member has been suspended with pay,’ a spokeswoman said.
Witness Mr Edwards described what he and his partner saw as ‘unjustifiable’ and ‘disgusting’ behaviour.
‘We’ve seen a police car ram into (the man) sending him flying a few metres across the road,’ Mr Edwards recalled to Daily Mail Australia.
‘He got up and the foot chase continued. They run up to the median strip (and) the man did throw a punch or two.
‘Then pepper spray was used, punches from the police were thrown. While they were bringing him down and he wasn’t restrained yet there were kicks to the head.
‘The worst part of it all is while he was restrained with five to six officers on him, there was a stomp to the head and then a knee to the head. Disgusting.’
Outraged, the pair both posted their footage to Facebook and Twitter, where it went viral.
Eventually the man’s shocked wife contacted them on social media, trying to find out details of what had happened.
Witnesses George Michael (left) and Jake Edwards (right) filmed the incident and posted the shocking video to social media
The man’s furious father Glenn told Radio 3AW on Monday that his son has been taken to hospital to be treated for his injuries, where he was placed in an induced coma.
Doctors have performed a CT scan of his head but are yet to deliver the results to the family.
‘The police had no right to do what they did,’ Glen fumed, before adding of an officer involved: ‘This bloke needs to be accountable and lose his job.’
Glenn said his son had been mentally unwell and had sought to be admitted to a psychiatric ward but had been unable to secure a bed.
His son called his apprentice to pick him up before he ran out the front door of the hospital.
Glen said his son was considered to be a ‘danger to himself’ and doctors rang the police.
Glen claimed the matter got out of hand when police arrived on scene and attempted to apprehend his son.
Though Glen says the matter got out of hand when police arrived on scene and attempted to apprehend his son
In their video, one of the witnesses can be heard crying out: ‘Are you f*****g kidding me?’
A motorist yells at the police to stop kicking the man before the other witness urges him to be quiet.
Victoria Police said the incident unfolded after officers were called over reports of a male behaving erratically about 4.10pm.
‘Upon arrival the male allegedly became aggressive and damaged a police vehicle whilst attempting to avoid arrest,’ a police spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.
‘During the highly dynamic incident a police officer was assaulted and OC spray was deployed before the man was arrested and subsequently taken to hospital for assessment.’
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