Police picture men sought over alleged attack on Channel 7 reporter Paul Dowsley
Police have released pictures of four men they would like to speak to after an alleged brutal attack on a Channel 7 reporter during Melbourne’s violent tradie protests.
Reporter Paul Dowsley was covering the second day of protests over mandatory vaccinations in the construction sector on September 21 when the incident occured.
Vision of the moment showed he was grabbed around the neck, before other protesters joined in on the fracas on Swanston Street, near Franklin St, as demonstrators marched from CFMEU headquarters in Elizabeth St to Parliament House.
Police allege one man grabbed Dowsley by the neck, while another man spat on him, and a third threw a liquid believed to be urine at him.
“The outcome of that was Rick, my cameraman colleague, and myself, now being covered in what I believe is urine,” Dowsley said at the time.
“I believe that this has been thrown in my mouth, it’s all over me.”
Just over an hour later, Dowsley was attacked again, this time live on air when police allege a fourth man threw a full can of energy drink into the back of his head about 12.30pm at the intersection of Flinders Lane and Queen St.
“That really hurt, I’ve been grabbed around the neck today, I’ve had urine tipped on me, now I’ve had a can of energy drink thrown on me,” Dowsley said after the second attack.
The can left Dowsley with a cut in the back of his head.
On Thursday, police released images of four men they want to speak to in relation to the attacks.
The first man was described as caucasian with dark hair and was wearing a green and grey hi-vis hoodie, dark track pants and black gloves.
The second man was described as caucasian with facial hair, a balding or shaved head and was wearing a brown jacket and dark pants.
The third man was wearing a bicycle helmet, grey jacket and blue jeans with dark patches.
The fourth man, who police allege threw a can of V Energy Drink at the 7 News star, wearing a light blue jumper, blue track pants with a white stripe and a light-coloured beanie.
“Police hold concerns about the unacceptable behaviour and have released images of four men they believe can assist them with their inquiries,” a police spokesman said.
Dowsley told Sunrise hosts David Koch and Natalie Barr the following day he was “fine”, but the alleged attacks had left him with a bump and a scratch on the back of his head.
“What happened came out of nowhere. Didn’t see it coming. It’s such a cowardly way to behave,” he said.
The incidents occurred on the second day during a week of protests after the Victorian government temporarily shut down the construction industry due to surging coronavirus cases.
They also made it mandatory for construction workers to get vaccinated in order to continue working.
The week of action, which was illegal under Melbourne tough lockdown restrictions at the time, resulted in more than 1000 arrests.
Anyone who witnessed the incidents or saw the men has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Originally published as Police picture men sought over alleged attack on Channel 7 reporter Paul Dowsley
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