Ryan Farrell smashed to the floor in Asda by police for face mask offence

Ryan Farrell was first told to fix his mask at around 4 pm on Tuesday afternoon (January 26) as he was about to leave the supermarket in Birkenhead in the Wirral, Merseyside.

The 27-year-old then claims police repeatedly approached him about it and asked for his details before arresting him and then allegedly pinning him to the floor.

The incident unfolded in front of his partner and one-year-old son.

Footage taken by Ryan’s partner shows him lying on the floor with three officers around him at the entrance to the Asda.

He appears to ask: “Can you stop kneeling on me please” as Ryan’s partner behind the camera questions if what is happening is “necessary”.

Police then take him out of the store and fine him £100. A spokesperson for Asda also confirmed that Mr Farrell has now been banned from the store, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Ryan claims he was wearing his mask correctly the entire time and only moved it because his glasses had steamed up.

Merseyside Police, however, dispute that and say the dad-of-one was seen lowering his mask before refusing to give his details and then resisting arrest.

After being told to fix his mask, Ryan claims he then rearranged it correctly and just before he left the store, the officer said: “If I have to speak to you about your mask again, I will arrest you.”

So I said ‘no worries, I did’ and went to carry on out of the store,” the dad said.

He claims it was then that the officer grabbed his coat and asked for his details, which he refused to give as he “hadn’t done anything wrong”. When the officer grabbed him, Ryan says he “tried to pull away” before allegedly getting pushed to the floor.

Ryan said the incident was “extremely upsetting” for his partner, who has rarely left the house over the last year to protect their young son who has respiratory problems.

He added: “My son suffers with respiratory problems and almost died about a year ago, so we are very wary about putting him at risk.

I always wear my mask because I wouldn’t forgive myself if he got sick again and my partner has been very wary about going out, so this was extremely upsetting.

A spokesperson for Merseyside Police confirmed Ryan was given a fixed penalty notice under coronavirus regulations and de-arrested.

They said: “The gentleman was seen by an officer to enter the Asda store in Birkenhead wearing his face mask around his neck.

“When asked by the officer to put on the face mask he pulled up the mask and walked away but was then seen to lower it again.

He was advised by the officer to put the mask on properly or he would receive a fine.

“The officer attempted to engage with the gentleman to explain why he had been spoken to about his mask and was asked for his name in order to record the advice, which he refused to give.

He was advised if he refused to give his details he would be arrested. As the officer attempted to arrest him the man resisted arrest and was eventually safely handcuffed on the floor.

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