55-year-old Dimitri Moskovich was tackled and handcuffed on Bondi Beach last year in late April and consequently charged with resisting an officer and failure to comply with notice in a public place.
Moskovich was exercising at Bondi’s north end during the lockdown period last April when two police officers approached him, tackled him to the ground, and proceeded to handcuff him as onlookers watched in disbelief.
Mr Moskovich is a regular down at Bondi and a much-loved personality by the locals, often seen down at Bondi working out.
The Russian-born man was held to the ground as locals pleaded with police not to use handcuffs and to let him keep his dignity.
Moskovich couldn’t quite believe what was happening and later told reporters ‘I came to this country, it’s a free country, when it happened to me I thought I was in Russia’
Dimitri’s lawyer Nick Hanna stated he hadn’t broken any lockdown laws as there were no signs up to disobey. ‘Mr Moskovich could not have broken any law about contravening a council sign because there was no sign’
‘This meant that the arrest was unlawful and so he could not be guilty of resisting arrest’
Mr Moskovich begged police not to handcuff him ‘Please guys, just stop, I’m not doing anything wrong’ he said
‘I’ll come with you to the police station but I’m not giving you my arms’
Police ignored his requests and handcuffed him before putting him in the back of the police car.
Moskovich’s lawyer said he should never have been charged. “His damages are extensive. In the interim, however, the bare minimum NSW police could do is issue an apology to Dimitri.
Photos show Dimitri’s red swollen wrists and cuts to his head which he suffered during his ordeal.
Police eventually withdrew the charges in March this year and agreed to pay his legal costs of $25,000 but Mr Moskovich launched a civil suit against the police for malicious and wrongful arrest and prosecution.
Authorities have agreed to settle the case resulting in a $90,000 payout for the Russian.
NSW police told the Daily Mail Australia the decision to drop the charges against Mr Moskovich was made following a review by senior officers at Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command and the prosecutors.
‘An internal investigation is underway into the circumstances of arrest and conduct of involved officers’ police said