Dad reveals moments before brutal arrest

By | September 15, 2020

The heartbroken family of the Melbourne man hit by a police car and then stomped on have opened up about what pushed him into the firing line of what they call Victoria Police’s “disgusting” brutality.

Breaking down on A Current Affair, Tim Atkins’ father Glenn said, “Seeing a policeman, and the car hitting him, stomping on my son’s head. It’s just disgusting.

“The way he was treated in any shape or form. That’s not right, That’s violence.”

Glenn Atkins and Tim’s brother Dylan were speaking two days after confronting footage emerged of Tim’s head being stomped on during an arrest by five officers in Melbourne on Sunday afternoon.

A senior constable from the Victoria Police Critical Incident Response Team was suspended from duty on Monday.

A second video, filmed moments earlier, showed Tim being struck by a police car before the dramatic arrest.

The events unfolded after Tim, who suffers from bipolar disorder, sought help but was told there were no mental health beds in his area,

When the father-of-three went to the emergency section of Northern Hospital in the northern Melbourne suburb of Epping, he was told the same thing.

Dylan Atkins described what his brother went through before the incidents with police on an Epping street around 4.10pm on Sunday.

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“He wanted help. My brother desperately needed help. We were turned away, but how many other people were also turned away, too?” Dylan told Channel 9.

“Tim waited about 20 hours. His patience wore thin.

“What he was going through, going through your mind.

“If you’ve got 400 thoughts he’s got 10,000 and going fast, and thinking,

“His mind is racing, and racing, and overthinking, he’s crying to you.

“It’s hard to speak to someone on the phone. It’s sort of, distressing for him.

“You know, it must be a long time for anyone.

“If you had a broken arm, sitting in a room on a bed, and got no answer, wondering what’s going on, for 20 hours – and your broken arm wasn’t fixed, would you be distressed?

“I would.”

Distressed and dazed, Tim had had enough, and ran from the hospital into the street where a police car on patrol struck him and then officers swarmed him.

His father Glenn is traumatised by what could have happened to his son when struck by the police vehicle.

“He could have died in the wrong spot,” Mr Atkins said.

“Had they hit him in the temple, he’d be dead now.

“Even if he was a criminal, which he’s not, he’s never hurt anybody, how can anybody do that and not lose his job, you know?”

As Victorian Police Deputy Commissioner Neil Paterson suspended one officer and announced an inquiry into the incident, Tim Atkins was placed in hospital and into a coma.

He woke up from the coma on Tuesday morning, but his family said he has no memory of what happened and described the coma treatment as “extreme”.

“They didn’t need to go to as what they did. It’s just horrendous,” Dylan Atkins said.

On Monday, Deputy Commissioner Neil Paterson said the footage showed “inappropriate use of force by a police member with regard to the kick or the stomp to the head of the man involved in that incident”.

“I’ve also formed the view that the use of force in using a police vehicle with the man involved in that incident is concerning,” he said.

The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) will conduct a criminal investigation into what happened in a move confirmed by IBAC Commissioner Robert Redlich.

“Given the potentially serious nature of this incident, IBAC has determined it is in the public interest to independently investigate this matter,” he said.

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