Teenager who egged Fraser Anning speaks of being ‘tackled by 30 bogans’

Updated March 17, 2019 16:14:32

The teenager who smashed an egg on the head of Queensland senator Fraser Anning has spoken of being “tackled by 30 bogans” as Victoria Police says it is investigating the actions of the senator and his supporters as well as those of the teenager.

Key points:

  • Footage of the incident shows Senator Anning’s supporters of tackling the teenager
  • Coalition and Labor to pass motion censuring Senator Anning for his comments on the Christchurch attack
  • A fundraising page has been set up to pay the teenager’s legal fees and to “buy more eggs”

Senator Anning struck the 17-year-old twice after the teenager broke an egg on his head while he spoke to media at a political meeting in Moorabbin, in Melbourne’s south-east yesterday.

Footage of the incident shows several supporters of Senator Anning tackling the teenager to the ground and restraining him in a chokehold.

Video circulating on social media shows a man holding the teenager in a headlock while a man can be heard telling him: “You are nothing but a weak human f–king being, you prick.”

Police arrested the teenager, took his details and removed him from the venue. He was later released pending further inquiries.

Victoria Police said it was investigating the incident “in its entirety”, including the actions of Senator Anning and others.

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said Victoria Police would also speak to Australian Federal Police officers who were at the meeting and may have witnessed the incident.

“Having seen that footage I instructed that our people examine the whole of that footage with the relevance to whether any assault charges be laid [against] anyone in that footage that may have committed an offence, not only from that first egging incident, but then everything that followed on from that,” Mr Ashton said.

“I made it clear last night that if there is any evidence there that would warrant an assault charge that we lay those charges.”

A video of the teenager speaking after the incident has been posted to social media.

“Don’t egg politicians,” the teenager says in the video.

“You’ll get tackled by 30 bogans at the same time. I learnt the hard way.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten today criticised the teenager, telling reporters in Melbourne that egging Senator Anning was “a mug thing to do”.

“You don’t get your message out by coming up and crunching an egg on someone — it’s just stupid,” he said.

“You don’t want to give this foolish politician, this hurtful politician, any sense of the moral high ground, because he has none.”

Mr Shorten was also critical of the way Senator Anning’s supporters had restrained the teenager following the egging.

“How many tough extreme right wingers does it take to wrestle with a 17-year-old boy?” he asked.

Asked about the incident at a press conference today, federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said both the teenager and Senator Anning had done “the wrong thing”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday announced the Coalition and Labor would pass a motion when Parliament returns next month, censuring Senator Anning for the statement he issued on Friday that linked the Christchurch mosque attacks to immigration.

In Sydney today, Mr Morrison was asked whether this action against Senator Anning was sufficient.

“I think the full force of the law should be applied to Senator Anning,” Mr Morrison said.

The ABC has contacted Senator Anning’s office for comment.

A fundraising page set up to collect donations to cover the teenager’s legal fees and to buy “more eggs” had raised more than $25,000 by 4:00pm on Sunday.

An online petition calling for Senator Anning to be removed from Parliament had garnered more than 850,000 signatures.

Change.org executive director Sally Rugg tweeted that the petition was the most popular petition in the site’s history.

About 60 people attended the Moorabbin meeting at which Senator Anning spoke.

Almost as many counter-protesters demonstrated outside the meeting.

Far-right agitator Neil Erikson was controlling access to the building.

Last year, Mr Erikson was convicted of inciting serious contempt against Muslims, over a mock beheading he staged in the regional Victorian city of Bendigo in 2015.

Senator Anning was widely criticised in January for flying to Melbourne at taxpayers’ expense to attend another far-right protest.

He sits in the Senate as an independent after originally entering Parliament under the One Nation banner as a replacement for Malcolm Roberts, who was disqualified over his dual citizenship.

He later jumped ship from One Nation to Katter’s Australian Party, but KAP dumped him from the party over concerns his views on immigration and race were too extreme.

At the last election, he collected 19 first preference votes and has conceded he has “not a lot of chance” of being re-elected to his $200,000-a-year position.

Topics: government-and-politics, parliament, federal-parliament, unrest-conflict-and-war, law-crime-and-justice, crime, assault, moorabbin-3189, vic, australia, qld

First posted March 17, 2019 13:51:17

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