Officers in at least one U.S. department went a little COVID-crazy over the weekend, arresting a dad in front of his 6-year-old daughter in a Colorado park for supposedly breaking the state’s social distancing guidelines.
They did so wearing no protective equipment.
“During the contact, none of the officers had masks on, none of them had gloves on, and they’re in my face handcuffing me, they’re touching me,” said Matt Mooney of Brighton, who was handcuffed at Donelson Park in front of his 6-year-old daughter on April 5 after police told him he violated the state’s social distancing guidelines.
Mooney, 33, told FOX31 that he refused to provide identification to three Brighton police officers because he was sure he wasn’t doing anything unlawful by playing tee-ball with his wife and daughter at the park.
“She’s like, ‘Daddy, I don’t want you to get arrested.’ At this point I’m thinking, ‘There’s no way they’re going to arrest me, this is insane.’ I’m telling her, ‘Don’t worry, Daddy’s not going to get arrested. I’ve done nothing wrong. Don’t worry about it,’ and then they arrest me.”
Former Brighton City Councilman Kirby Wallin witnessed the arrest, and in an interview said, “I find it hard to believe with all the things going on in our communities, the only way to resolve a situation like this was to handcuff a father in front of his daughter.”
The sign at Donelson Park said “Closed” but in smaller print reads, “in groups of no more than 4 persons, parks remain open for walking, hiking, biking, running and similar activities.”
Mooney said he was released after spending about 10 minutes in the back of a patrol car but said he still deserved an apology.
Brighton police posted a vague statement about “an investigation” regarding the park on the department’s Facebook page Sunday night that made no mention of Matt Mooney or his arrest.