By ANEEKA SIMONIS
PAKENHAM residents have overwhelmingly come to the defence of police following the release of viral video footage capturing an officer tackling and handcuffing a youth outside Pakenham train station.
The viral footage shows the teen, a 14-year-old boy, being tackled to the ground by a police officer.
He hits his head on the gravel, causing him to temporarily lose consciousness.
The footage then shows the boy being handcuffed by police.
However, little sympathy was given to the videoed teen on social media.
Many put their support behind the arresting officers tasked with dealing with unruly youths frequenting the crime hot spot.
“I support the police 100 per cent in this whole situation,” read one of the many comments on the Gazette’s social media page.
Pakenham train station and Bourke Park are known danger zones in town, with the area coming under violent attack by youths in recent months.
At least one person with a disability, a family and lone teens have all fallen victim to the youth offenders wreaking havoc in the area.
The escalating issue has reached a point of proposed government intervention, with Cardinia Shire Council currently undergoing suitability assessments for CCTV cameras to be installed in the area.
Allegations the teen, or the large group present at the time of videoed arrest, hit a police officer were put to Victoria Police, who did not provide a response.
Instead, they confirmed no complaint had been received in relation to police action during the arrest dating back to December last year.
Victoria Police said the boy was apprehended after failing to hand over his details to police investigating a bike theft.
He was part of a group exhibiting anti-social behaviour outside the train station.
A 17-year-old was also arrested at the scene.
Police said they liaised with the boy and his family and a caution notice was given in relation to using abusive words in a public place.
No further action has been taken against him.
The teenager’s friends told Sky News the group confrontation with police escalated quickly.
“The cop was swearing the whole time and then (the youth) said one swearword and the cop started getting really angry,” one boy claimed.
“We asked for his badge number multiple times, which he refused to give to us. And then he arrested (the youth) and knocked him out, pretty much.”
The scuffle arrest during which a 14-year-old is knocked out.