Anti-lockdown protest leader is dramatically arrested as police break down his door after he yells abuse at them from his balcony
- James Bartolo, a prominent coronavirus conspiracy figure, has been arrested
- Police arrived at his door on Friday morning and forced open the door
- Cops gave him many chances to let them in but he accused them of trespassing
- Bartolo runs a conspiracy group and regularly discusses Saturday’s protest
A coronavirus conspiracy leader has been dramatically arrested a day before anti-lockdown protests his group promoted were to hit Melbourne’s streets.
James Bartolo was detained at his Melbourne home on Friday morning after four policemen knocked down his door when he refused to open it.
The former bodybuilder was handcuffed on his lounge room floor in a struggle seconds after police broke inside.
He is expected to be the fifth protest organiser charged with incitement after a series of posts and videos on Thursday night.
Former bodybuilder James Bartolo is a key figure in conspiracy theory circles, holding talks on many subjects and organising followers. He has been arrested for incitement
Bartolo filmed the two detectives and two uniformed officers from his balcony as they arrived at his unit with a search warrant.
He told them they didn’t have authorisation to be on the property, despite the warrant stating they could enter by force if necessary.
‘You are illegally trespassing and you will be charged. If you break anything you will be prosecuted,’ he shouted at the officers.
However, the lead detective was in no mood to entertain Bartolo’s bizarre pseudo-legal beliefs that police don’t have power over him.
‘Open the door or I’ll force it, I’m not playing a game,’ he called out.
‘You’ve had all the opportunity in the world, James, are you going to come open the door, yes or no?’
Bartolo filmed the two detectives and two uniformed officers from his balcony as they arrived at his unit with a search warrant, and bashed down hs door when he wouldn’t open it
Bartolo ran downstairs as the banging at the door got louder, arriving just as police swarmed into his unit. He was then arrested in a struggle on his lounge room floor
Bartolo protested that he was on the toilet when the officers knocked on his door, and demanded they tell him what was going on.
He still refused as they tried to explain he was suspected of incitement, which he denied, saying he told people not to go to the protest.
‘Leave my s**t, don’t break my stuff you f**king r****ds,’ he yelled as police began to break down his door with a battering ram.
Bartolo ran downstairs as the banging at the door got louder, arriving just as police swarmed into his unit.
Officers yelled at him to get on the ground and put his hands behind his back as they grabbed and handcuffed him.
Bartolo runs the Conscious Truth Network group on Facebook which is a hub for a long list of conspiracy theories.
Planned ‘Freedom Day’ protests on Saturday are regularly discussed and promoted by Bartolo and his disciples on the group page.