Cop assaulted in Melbourne as hundreds caught violating coronavirus regulations

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Residents of Melbourne, Australia's second-biggest city and the capital of Victoria, are now under an overnight curfew, non-essential businesses are closed and face coverings are mandatory as hundreds of new cases are recorded daily. — Courtesy photo
Residents of Melbourne, Australia's second-biggest city and the capital of Victoria, are now under an overnight curfew, non-essential businesses are closed and face coverings are mandatory as hundreds of new cases are recorded daily. — Courtesy photo

MELBOURNE, Australia — Hundreds of people confirmed to have coronavirus in Australia's worst-hit state of Victoria have been caught violating stay-at-home orders as authorities in the virus-stricken city of Melbourne warned of a "dangerous" rise in people resisting lockdown measures, sometimes violently.

The southern state of Victoria is experiencing a rise in infections over recent weeks that the government has partly blamed on people breaking rules that restrict travel.

Residents of Melbourne, Australia's second-biggest city and the capital of Victoria, are now under an overnight curfew, non-essential businesses are closed and face coverings are mandatory as hundreds of new cases are recorded daily.

Authorities have increased fines for repeated rule breaches as Melbourne endures a deadly virus second wave.

Meanwhile, Victoria Police said this trend included so-called "sovereign citizens" being combative with officers in recent days after a police officer allegedly had her head repeatedly bashed into concrete by a woman who police say refused to wear a mask in line with coronavirus rules.

The 26-year-old officer and her partner approached a woman about 5 p.m. on Monday at a Frankston shopping center who was not wearing a mask and the confrontation turned violent, the chief commissioner, Shane Patton, said, according to a report in The Guardian.

“They approached a 38-year-old woman, who wasn’t wearing a mask. After a confrontation and being assaulted by that woman, those police officers went to ground and there was a scuffle,” he said on Tuesday.

“This 38-year-old woman smashed the head of the policewoman several times into a concrete area on the ground.

The woman was taken to a police station, charged with assaulting police, recklessly causing injury, two counts of assaulting an emergency worker, two counts of resisting an emergency worker on duty and refusing to state her name and address.

She was also fined $200 for not wearing a mask and bailed due to no criminal history.

The police officer received significant head injuries and was taken to the Frankston hospital for assessment and medical treatment.

Victoria police issued 161 fines on Monday to people flouting coronavirus restrictions, including 60 people who were not wearing masks.

There were nine fines issued at vehicle checkpoints, with 22,091 checks carried out.

Over half of Australia's 18,300 cases have been recorded in the past month in Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital. There have been 226 deaths nationally.

Melbourne has recently made it mandatory for residents to wear face masks and tightened lockdown measures to reduce transmissions. — Agencies


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