A Specialised Crime Unit police officer stationed at Sophiatown in Johannesburg was this week caught on camera beating up Douglas Cassell, the owner of Mario’s Pick n Pay in Reiger Park, Boksburg.
On Tuesday night, the constable decided to take law into his own hands, beating Cassel to a pulp after he was refused access to the CCTV cameras footage at the outlet.
Trouble started after the police officer’s three-year-old son disappeared on Friday, only to be found in safe after a staff member found him wandering unaccompanied in the shop.
City Press has seen the footage of the incident where the officer approached Cassell and started beating him up in full view of other cops.
Elvina Koopman, Cassell’s wife who manages the popular shop, said they found the child wandering in the store. “One of our staff noticed the child walking around the store. We asked customers if the child was with them but unfortunately nobody knew the child.
“We posted on the community Facebook page about the child but nobody responded. However, one customer stated that he knew the family of the toddler. We informed the grandfather of the boy that he was safe. The child’s parents viewed the footage on Sunday,” said Koopman.
Michaela le Roux, a family spokesperson for the cop, said: “The child went missing at midday on Friday while his father [a cop] was busy washing cars. After realising that the child was missing a search ensued from the community.
“The father went to the store and asked to view the footage but the owner of the shop refused. He went to the police but his colleagues failed to help him,” Le Roux said.
“We are disappointed that Douglas released the footage of his assault but he failed to provide the other footage which the father of the child had requested. I don’t condone what he did, but as a father he went there to seek answers. He was stressed and I feel that we need to give the police [space] to do their job on this matter.”
The cop will appear in the Boksburg Magistrates’ Court on Thursday charged with assault.
Provincial police spokesperson, Captain Mavela Masondo said: “The SA Police Service is not commenting on the case since the matter is now with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid). All enquiries should be addressed to Ipid.”
Ipid spokesperson Ndileka Cola did not respond to calls for comment.