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Asda Customer 'Pushed Onto Floor' By Police In Face Mask Row

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Asda Customer 'Pushed Onto Floor' By Police In Face Mask Row

An Asda customer claims he was 'pushed onto the floor' by police in a row over face masks. Watch here:

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Ryan Farrell said he 'hadn't done anything wrong' while shopping at the Birkenhead store on Tuesday (26 January) - but Merseyside Police said he was arrested for breaking face covering rules and refusing to hand over his details, with coronavirus laws stipulating that face coverings must be worn in supermarkets in England.

Ryan had stopped at the kiosk to buy tobacco when he was first told to fix his mask and was ultimately fined £100 and banned from the store; he insists though that he was wearing his mask correctly and had only moved it because his glasses had steamed up.

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The 27-year-old said: "I pulled it down slightly to let the steam clear and a police officer who was close to the door gestured over to me and told me to put it back on.

"I put it right back up my nose, bought my tobacco and went to leave.

"As I was leaving, the officer said 'If I have to speak to you about your mask again I will arrest you'. So I said 'No worries, I did' and went to carry on out of the store."

Ryan was banned from the store. Credit: Liverpool Echo
Ryan was banned from the store. Credit: Liverpool Echo
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Ryan said that it was at this point that the officer grabbed his coat and asked for his details, which he refused to give. The officer then told him he was being arrested.

Ryan said: "I didn't want to give my details because I hadn't done anything wrong and when he grabbed me I tried to pull away.

"I was startled and I didn't know what to do so I tried to get him away from me.

"He then put my hands behind my back and pushed me onto the floor."

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Ryan added that the incident was 'extremely upsetting' for his onlooking partner and their one-year-old son.

He said: "My son suffers with respiratory problems and almost died about a year ago, so we are very wary about putting him at risk.

"I always wear my mask because I wouldn't forgive myself if he got sick again and my partner has been very wary about going out, so this was extremely upsetting.

"The whole incident escalated very quickly and it was embarrassing for us all. I have never been in trouble with the police and don't want to cause any problems with them."

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Ryan believes he did nothing wrong. Credit: Liverpool Echo
Ryan believes he did nothing wrong. Credit: Liverpool Echo

Police said Ryan defied their instructions on numerous occasions.

A spokesperson for the force said: "The gentleman was seen by an officer to enter the Asda store in Birkenhead wearing his face mask around his neck.

"When asked by the officer to put on the face mask he pulled up the mask and walked away but was then seen to lower it again.

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"He was advised by the officer to put the mask on properly or he would receive a fine.

"The officer attempted to engage with the gentleman to explain why he had been spoken to about his mask and was asked for his name in order to record the advice, which he refused to give.

"He was advised if he refused to give his details he would be arrested. As the officer attempted to arrest him the man resisted arrest and was eventually safely handcuffed on the floor.

"He was taken out of the front of the store where he was given a fixed penalty notice under Coronavirus regulations and de-arrested."

An Asda spokesperson also confirmed that Ryan had been banned from the store.

Featured Image Credit: Liverpool Echo

Topics: Police, UK News, Coronavirus, crime, Asda, Covid-19

Jake Massey
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