A former MMA fighter and Melbourne anti-mask ringleader has live-streamed an extraordinary tirade at protective service officers moments before he was arrested for refusing to wear a face mask in public.
Nick Patterson filmed the confrontation at a Melbourne train station on Wednesday while being questioned why he wasn’t wearing a mask, which became mandatory in Victoria’s capital almost a fortnight ago.
Mr Patterson lectures the two officers about the Public Administration Act before insisting he wasn’t doing anything illegal.
‘I haven’t committed any crime… it’s terrible what you’re doing is evil. It’s communist, it’s evil and it’s sad you’re having to do this,’ he started his bizarre rant.
Mr Patterson then claims because they’re not police officers, they can’t arrest him.
‘You’re a PSO, not a police officer. You can only detain,’ he argued.
‘Where do you get the powers from. Please provide the evidence. You’ve actually made the claim I’ve committed the offence and I don’t believe I am.’
A defiant Mr Patterson went on to claim he has an ‘exemption’ to not wear a mask but wouldn’t provide any more details, claiming it was of a ‘private nature’.
‘I don’t have to speak to you,’ he argued.
‘If you arrest me, it will be a false arrest and I’ll be taking you for deprivation of liberty.’
Mr Patterson then calls them the ‘harassment squad’ as one of the officers informs him he’s under arrest for refusing to provide his identity.
The footage shows the first seconds of his arrest and blurred vision of his Mr Patterson’s young son watching on nearby before the camera is turned off.
PSO officers are sworn officers of Victoria Police who patrol metropolitan and major regional railway stations.
A Victoria Police spokesman confirmed PSOs are empowered to make arrests, as well as obtaining personal information, search and seizure and issue infringement notices and fines.
Mr Patterson later filmed a second video where he describes living under a ‘totalitarian dictatorship’ and ‘full communism’ arguing his ‘human rights’ were under threat.
‘You can’t talk to them any more, you can’t reason with them, you can’t have a conversation with them,’ he complains in the 10 minute rant.
Face masks became mandatory in Melbourne two weeks ago in a desperate attempt to control the second coronavirus outbreak that continues to spread across the state, with a record 725 cases and 15 deaths recorded on Wednesday.
The city has since entered a six week stage four lockdown with strict evening curfews between 8pm and 5am.
Anyone not caught wearing a face mask is fined $200.
Mr Patterson’s rant comes on the same day Prime Minister Scott Morrison ripped into so called ‘sovereign citizens’ in Victoria in a strong-worded interview on Sunrise.
Mr Morrison’s calls come after a range of incidents involving entitled members of the public breaching coronavirus safety measures.
‘Get real is my message. Get real,’ Mr Morrison he said. ‘This is a difficult time for everybody, I know people are angry and frustrated.
‘There’s been a lot of confusion and still to be worked out on some of these restrictions.’
Mr Patterson is one of the city’s anti-mask group ringleaders and hosts a weekly meeting of up to 50 followers in his Melbourne gym.
A photo from a July 26 meeting showed a tight circle of followers with Mr Patterson in the middle – even as gatherings of more than two were banned.
‘A great night together discussing the putrid conduct of the police, government and media lies. We are strong and won’t bow down to these oppressors,’ he wrote.
He also praised Eve Black, who was widely condemned in recent weeks for refusing to provide her details to officers as she left a coronavirus hotspot.
Mr Patterson’s website John 8 acts as a resource for anti-mask conspiracy theorists, including the script they read out to police, and the dubious legal argument behind it.
‘I want to help people learn the Truth so they can become strong, not just with knowledge, but with the mindset of a warrior,’ it reads.