‘Youse are liars, cheats, mutt DOGS’: Disgraceful moment anti-lockdown protesters mob veteran journalist before ‘stealing his phone’ – as he lashes out at ‘cowardly cretins’ who hurled abuse at him
- Channel Seven reporter Robert Ovadia was abused by protestors last Saturday
- A man who filmed the veteran reporter called him a liar, cheat and ‘mutt dog’
- Another man is seen to have a physical altercation with Mr Ovadia
- The reporter responded on Facebook, calling the man who filmed him a ‘cretin’
A Channel Seven reporter confronted by protesters during anti-lockdown protests in Sydney has hit back at the ‘cretin’ who attacked him.
In a video live streamed on social media, veteran television reporter Robert Ovadia was approached by a man as he covered the protests at Victoria Park at Chippendale in Sydney’s inner-west on Saturday.
The man begins by asking Ovadia whether he’s a member of the media and who he works for, as the reporter focuses on his phone.
‘Are you one of us, brother? You’re not with the media are you?’
Mr Ovadia initially attempted to ignore the attention of the protestors by looking at his phone
A man picks up what is believed to be Mr Ovadia’s phone as the reporter has an altercation with a man in the background
Mr Ovadia then confirmed he’s a journalist covering the protest for Channel Seven.
‘Channels Seven’s here, boys!’ the man shouts, as more protesters approach Mr Ovadia.
‘Youse are f***ing liars, youse are cheats, you are lying to Australia,’ the man behind the camera tells Mr Ovadia.
‘Report the right news, buddy!’ another yells.
The man then repeatedly tells Mr Ovadia to ‘f**k off’.
The reporter appears to advance on the man before a second person steps in and a brief altercation takes place.
Another man then appears to run off with Mr Ovadia’s phone after he drops it during the confrontation.
Mr Ovadia took to Facebook after the incident to issue a scathing message to his abusers.
‘At least dogs have enough courage of conviction to return to their own vomit,’ he wrote.
‘Some, like the cretin who took this video, run the other way enslaved by their own cowardice.’
Mr Ovadia begins to advance on the man filming him as he is repeatedly abused for covering the event
He also called the man who filmed him ‘a p**sant’ and ‘a little, little man’.
Mr Ovadia confirmed that he was okay ‘having stared down much fiercer confrontations’.
‘I’m just mightily p***ed that my phone was stolen – again, by someone running away whose only reason for wearing a mask was not to protect others, but to protect himself with anonymity.
‘It’s okay, police will find him and they will also find the Mensa president who shot the video.’
Sydney man Guerino Scevola was charged with six offences over the confrontation including assault, affray, theft, possessing a prohibited drug and not complying with a noticed direction.
He appeared in Newtown Local Court on Tuesday and was refused bail.
The state’s Police Minister David Elliott commented on the incident in a press conference, calling it an ‘outrageous attack’.
‘Our freedom of movement may be restricted but our freedom of speech cannot be restricted,’ he said.
‘It has never been more important for us to have free access for the media, so that the thousands at home can have reliable, up-to-date, credible information.’
Former NSW Minister for Police, Labor MP Michael Daley, also posted: ‘Spare a thought for Robert Ovadia from Channel 7 Sydney. A respected veteran. Just bringing us the news.
‘This is what he endured today, not in a war zone but in Sydney’s CBD. People mimicking things they see overseas.
‘Australia is better than this.’