A homeless man who was tackled to the ground and arrested in front of the South Australian Premier at a press conference in Adelaide says he feels he was unfairly targeted by police.
- Aaron John Rudd was arrested during a press conference held by Peter Malinauskas on June 30
- He was handcuffed face-down on the pavement by the Premier’s security
- He says he was “just curious to watch”
Aaron John Rudd, 54, was arrested during a scuffle with security at a press conference held by Peter Malinauskas on Hutt Street in Adelaide on June 30.
A plain-clothed police officer asked him to move back because he was getting too close to the Premier.
Rudd was then escorted away by Mr Malinauskas’s security detail and handcuffed face-down on the pavement in scenes that were captured on camera by the gathered media.
Mr Rudd, who arrived at the Adelaide Magistrates Court today with a guitar, is charged with disorderly behaviour and resisting police.
After his court hearing, he told the media he meant no harm when he moved closer to the press conference to see what was going on.
“I was just passing by and was curious to watch, see what it was about,” he said.
“I feel very much that I was unfairly targeted.
“I just think it was maybe the ignorance of the police officer, he should be trained better to be more diplomatic about these situations, it’s not the way to handle a situation like that.
“People like that should be a bit more professional, treat the public with a bit more dignity and respect.”
Mr Rudd said he used to be a full-time carer and has been living on the streets since losing his job and felt passionately about advocating for the rights of disadvantaged people.
“I’m very compassionate and very passionate about street people,” he said.
“These people have a heart and I care for them, I like being around them.”
Mr Rudd said he did not know who Mr Malinauskas was, but felt it was his right to “bear witness” to the press conference.
He said the police officer and security detail were “aggressively intimidating” towards him and he tried to defend himself.
“I pushed him, I met him with equal resistance. I was not charged with assault because, as I said to them, this will reflect in footage,” Mr Rudd said.
When asked by reporters if he might write a song about what happened, he said “maybe one day” and that it would be called “freedom for the people, a right to witness”.
The court case was adjourned to October.