Police officer kicked and bitten while trying to enforce social distancing

Politie patch on a Dutch police officer's uniform
Politie patch on a Dutch police officer's uniform. Aug. 20, 2015JoeppoulssenDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

A Rotterdam police officer was kicked and bitten last night after authorities tried to break up a group of people violating the ban on crowds. A 30-year-old Rotterdam man has been arrested in connection with the incident, the police confirmed.

Officers were dispatched to the Bellamystraat in the Spangen neighborhood at around 8.15 pm on Tuesday to handle a large group of people that had gathered there. Police said that when officers arrived the group quickly turned against them, which caused a scuffle that resulted in one officer being attacked.

"An officer had to use his baton to ward off a man who was approaching him," police said. "Another cop was kicked and bitten. After using pepper spray, a 30-year-old man from Rotterdam was handcuffed."

After making use of pepper spray, suspect was apprehended and taken into police custody on suspicion of "mistreatment and/or manslaughter," the police confirmed. He was accused of abuse and could be accused of attempted manslaughter, police said.

Further investigation is being conducted into other suspects, the police have confirmed, and further arrests are possible. According to a police statement, the incident made a "significant impact" on the officers involved, going on to state that "such aggression and violence against aid workers is completely unacceptable".

The incident comes as police and municipal officials across the Netherlands enforce social distancing rules which prohibit people from crowding or standing closer than 1.5 meters from one another. As of Tuesday, the police had served more than 1,400 fines to people for having violated these rules.

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