A South African man and his fiancée were arrested with their 21-month-old daughter Monday while feeding poor residents of a community near Cape Town after their toddler ran onto a beach and he ran to retrieve her.
According to Cape Talk 567 radio, Liam Bulgen of Muizenberg and his family had prepared food for residents of Vrygrond, a poor neighborhood near the False Bay coast, and were walking legally on a promenade near the beach when their toddler ran onto the sand. He retrieved the child — and they were then confronted by police.
Though the charge was initially unclear, Bulgen said, police indicated that they were being arrested for violating local regulations for the coronavirus lockdown by setting foot on the beach.
Bulgen told Cape Talk that “one officer told me I am stupid for having my child out in public because she could die,” and that the senior officer on the scene was not wearing a face mask.
Bulgen and his fiancée were taken separately to the police station. She was allegedly pushed into a police van while breastfeeding the toddler to calm her down.
South Africans initially rallied around President Cyril Ramaphosa in the early days of the country’s ongoing lockdown, but are now chafing at restrictions on movement — and overly zealous enforcement.
“We are not criminals. We did nothing wrong. And we were mistreated,” Bulgen said. He added that police prevented the couple from handing their toddler over to another relative during their confinement.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.