A much-loved LGBTI bookshop in Melbourne was raided by police today (11 May) who allegedly failed to identify themselves.
Hares and Hyenas, a queer bookshop by day and bar by night, was raided at around 2am by police, claimed owner Crusader Hillis.
It was an incident that social media users have dubbed ‘unacceptable’ and ‘appalling.’
In a Facebook post, then shared on the business’ Twitter account, owner Hillis detailed when the raid took place in Fitzroy, Victoria. An eclectic inner-suburb of Melbourne.
Hillis claimed that police broke into the estate’s garage on 63 Johnston Street. Police were under the impression an armed member of a ‘Lebanese’ gang was inside the premises, he alleged.
However, Hillis noted: ‘At no stage did they identify themselves as police. They just stormed into a dark room shining torches and it was impossible to identify them as police.
‘Nik Dimopoulos, thinking that it was an anti gay home invasion rushed out the door, downstairs and on to the street where he was forcefully detained.’
Police failed to identify themselves
Hillis stressed in his statement that the police officers failed to openly address themselves.
‘At no time did the police when they were chasing him say “stop, Police” as you would expect.
‘He [Dimopoulos] had his hands tethered behind his back way beyond what can be endured, and then they had no implement to remove them even after an ambulance had been called.
‘He could only see boots and rifles and was assuming he was going to be bashed or shot, he said he thought he was about to be killed.’
Hillis himself was ‘bailed up’ during this. Meanwhile, a fellow staff member named ‘Rowland’ was upstairs trying to find his cell-phone to call the police.
Dimopoulos might lose ‘the use of his left arm’
Moreover, Hillis allegedly attempted to act as a witness to Dimopoulos detention, when he was ‘threatened with being detained’ himself.
Dimopoulos is currently hospitalized with the ‘ikelihood of losing the use of his left arm, which is broken in several places from the shoulder down,’ Hillis stated.
‘The surgeon described the injury as 12 on a scale of one to 10. Nik also has a huge contusion on his head from his head being thrown onto the pavement.’
Gay Star News have contacted Victoria Police and the City of Yarra council for comment.