Man reportedly suffers heart attack while being arrested for not wearing mask outside

An Australian man reportedly suffered a heart attack during his arrest for exercising outdoors without a mask on, according to the man’s son and partner.

“Why was he handcuffed? Why was he under arrest? What did he do wrong? This doesn’t make sense. The government is forcing control by any means necessary. Creating fear and bullying tactics to make people not be able to able to have a voice,” the man’s son, Joseph Merlino, wrote in an Instagram post detailing the incident.

The man and his partner were exercising at Brisbane Botanical Gardens on Monday morning when he was caught not wearing a mask. Officers questioned the man, who told them he suffers from heart problems and has a medical exemption from wearing a face covering.

The officers did not believe the man and continued to arrest him for not following the mask mandate. Merlino posted the disturbing video to his Instagram account.

While being dragged away in cuffs, the man suddenly collapses, cries out in pain, and appears to suffer a seizure as his partner yells, “Oh sh-t! You f—king pigs!” I told you!” The man attempts to reach for his medicine in his bag while being held down on the ground.

“He did not do anything illegal. He did not retaliate in a violent manner. He was conducting himself in a peaceful manner. Not looking for trouble,” Merlino wrote about the incident.

“This hurt me today more [than] anything I’ve experience[sic]. seeing my father get arrested pushed to the ground by 4 police as he was having a seizure and having cardiac arrest[sic]. I havnt[sic] cried for many years and I balled my eyes out seeing him suffering that I couldn’t do anything or be there for him and feeling as a son to protect his father.”

He added,  “His partner was right by his side helping my father as these police had no regard for his well-being making a joke of his seizure and not believing he had heart problems.”

“My father could have suffered Brain damage from this. Permanent injury or death. All for what because of a mask? Which he had all the medical requirements to not wear one for his own health,” he continued.

Currently, 11 local government areas in South East Queensland are under lockdown due to the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19. Stay-at-home orders are in effect until 4 p.m. Sunday, and anyone outside their home is required to wear a mask.