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NSW Covid anti-lockdown protest: Men in court for assaulting police, horses and rioting

Wedding photographers, tradies, serial rabble-rousers and even a Sky News pundit and wannabe MP are among those charged over Sydney’s lockdown protest.

On Sunday, 21 men faced Parramatta Local Court for various crimes allegedly committed at the rally – which descended into rioting by early afternoon. 

They include the man seen punching a police horse in the mouth in photos from the thick of the crowd that shocked Australia. 

Most other charges are for assaulting police, resisting arrest, and breaching public health orders by being there in the first place.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian also expressed her outrage at those who attended the protests, revealing seeing photos and footage of what took place ‘broke [her] heart’

Kristian Pulkownik was identified after a photo of his fist making contact with the face of a police horse named Tobruk went viral overnight.

The 33-year-old was identified after police shared the picture online in an effort to track down the culprit – and it didn’t take long.

Police stormed his Marlborough Street unit in Surry Hills about 11.20pm on Saturday after a public callout for information on his identity and whereabouts.

Pulkownik was taken to Kings Cross Police Station where he was charged with affray, animal cruelty, joining in an illegal assembly and not complying with a Covid-19 health directive.

He will spend at least a second night in jail after he appeared in Parramatta Local Court on Sunday where he did not apply for bail.

Kristian Pulkownik was identified after a photo of his fist making contact with the face of a police horse named Tobruk went viral overnight

Kristian Pulkownik was identified after a photo of his fist making contact with the face of a police horse named Tobruk went viral overnight

Named and shamed: Everyone who in court on Sunday over protest

Do you know any of these people? Email: brittany.chain@mailonline.com

KRISTIAN PULKOWNIK 33yo M

REMON KORKISE 36yo M

ROBERT TE BROWN 26yo M 

ANTHONY NELSON PAZ 26yo M

NIKOLA DEDOVIC 20yo M

MICHAEL PAZ 28yo M

SIMON HATTAWAY 27yo M

SEAN RENFORD 44yo M

KUPUOVENUA SIPU 29yo M

RODRIGO ELICES 28yo M

MICHAEL MUSALLAM 31yo M

JOSHUA PEDEN 29yo M

STEPHEN JOHN BASTIAN 63yo M

JOSEPH MEKHAEL 37yo M

DAVID CHRISTOPHER WILSON 60yo M

DARIO MASLIC 18yo M

EVAN BRACK 33yo M

ARCHIE REES 26yo M

ALEXANDER JEROME CLARQUE 39yo M

RUDI VAN SCHAIK 47yo M

CALLUM BOWLING, 27yo M

Remon Korkise was also accused of attacking a police horse during Saturday’s protest.

The 36-year-old wedding photographer was arrested at a home in Edensor Park and taken to Fairfield Police Station.

He was charged with assaulting a police officer, failing to comply with a health directive and animal cruelty.

Korkise after the protest went home to southwest Sydney, the epicentre of the outbreak where he has been subject to even stricter regulations than the rest of the city.

He was refused bail appeared in Parramatta Local Court on Sunday.    

Remon Korkise has also been charged with animal cruelty offences after Saturday’s protest

The 36-year-old wedding photographer was arrested at a home in Edensor Park and taken to Fairfield Police Station

The 36-year-old wedding photographer was arrested at a home in Edensor Park and taken to Fairfield Police Station

Known Covid denier Joseph Mekhael, who was in court just five months ago for similar offences, was among those named by police. 

Mekhael, 37, has been charged with failing to comply with a public health order. He also breached previous bail conditions by attending the rally. 

‘Smokin’ Joe’ was previously charged with two counts of failing to comply with public health orders after he allegedly organised two unauthorised protests in Sydney.

He described the government as ‘diabolical dipsticks’, claimed coronavirus was a scam, and made false and harmful claims about vaccination at the time.   

Known Covid denier Joseph Mekhael, who was in court just five months ago for similar offences, was among those named by police

Known Covid denier Joseph Mekhael, who was in court just five months ago for similar offences, was among those named by police

There are major concerns that Saturday's protests will prove to have been a super spreading event, and authorities are calling on the estimated 3,500 people who attended in Sydney to get a Covid test for the sake of the community

There are major concerns that Saturday’s protests will prove to have been a super spreading event, and authorities are calling on the estimated 3,500 people who attended in Sydney to get a Covid test for the sake of the community

Like ‘Smokin’ Joe’, Callum Bowling, publicly questions the threat of Covid.  

The 27-year-old was charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and breaching a Covid health directive by attending the rally. 

‘The virus we need to look out for is communism and tyranny,’ he wrote on his Facebook account. Police opposed his bail. 

John Ruddick, a former Liberal Party member who is now running as the Liberal Democrats candidate in Warringah, revealed on Twitter that he was fined $1,000 for attending the rally.

The onetime contributor on Sky News wrote: ‘Just had two courteous police officers at my door to advise I will be getting a $1,000 fine for attending the Sydney Freedom Rally.

‘No problem – I’ll frame it and put it on the wall.’

NSW Police Minister David Elliott described him as a ‘political wannabe’ during his press conference on Sunday, suggesting he used the protest as a means of ‘making a name for himself’.

Like 'Smokin' Joe', Callum Bowling, publicly questions the threat of Covid. The 27-year-old was charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and breaching a Covid health directive by attending the rally

Like ‘Smokin’ Joe’, Callum Bowling, publicly questions the threat of Covid. The 27-year-old was charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and breaching a Covid health directive by attending the rally

John Ruddick, a former Liberal Party member who also is a contributor on Sky News and is now running as the Liberal Democrats candidate in Warringah, revealed on Twitter that he has been fined $1,000 for attending the rally

John Ruddick, a former Liberal Party member who also is a contributor on Sky News and is now running as the Liberal Democrats candidate in Warringah, revealed on Twitter that he has been fined $1,000 for attending the rally

‘It’s disappointing that someone that wants to go to higher public office would get involved in a violent protest and then boast about it.’

‘That’s very disappointing. I think those individuals need to reflect if they are suitable for public office.’ 

Ruddick has not been charged with any crime, merely given a fine. 

The eldest of the men due to face court on Sunday, Stephen John Bastian, was charged with assaulting a police officer in the line of duty. 

He was granted bail to reappear in Downing Centre Local Court on August 10, and agreed to comply with all state public health orders.

Bastian, 63, must also not attend any gatherings or rallies in the future.  

In total, 510 infringement notices were handed out on Saturday, most at the protests

In total, 510 infringement notices were handed out on Saturday, most at the protests

Detectives are working through more than 5,000 tips from fed up Sydneysiders dobbing in attendees at Saturday's anti-lockdown rallies

Detectives are working through more than 5,000 tips from fed up Sydneysiders dobbing in attendees at Saturday’s anti-lockdown rallies

Meanwhile Dario Maslic, the youngest of the protesters who faced court on Sunday, was also granted bail under the condition that he avoid public gatherings and rallies.

He also must not go near, or contact any prosecution witness.

The 18-year-old was charged with failing to comply with health directives, assaulting a police officer and wilfully obstructing officers. 

David Wilson, a self described ‘biohacker’ was also charged after attending the rally in Sydney. 

The 60-year-old from the Northern Rivers region in NSW was not subject to strict stay-at-home orders because he lives outside of a hotspot, but has since exposed himself by travelling to Sydney for the protest.  

He is accused of assaulting a police officer and refusing to wear a face mask.  

Mr Wilson on Sunday entered a plea of not guilty. He was granted bail to appear before the court again on August 10. 

There are concerns Saturday's rallies may become a 'super spreader' event. Pictured: A graph showing case numbers in NSW

There are concerns Saturday’s rallies may become a ‘super spreader’ event. Pictured: A graph showing case numbers in NSW 

Detectives are working through more than 5,000 tips from Sydneysiders dobbing in attendees at the anti-lockdown rally.

Mr Elliott warned officers would be relentless in pursuing anybody who broke the law at the protest.

‘Yesterday cannot happen again. For all those who think NSW Police is going to allow unlawful gathering to occur, you need to think again,’ he warned.

‘The deployments we saw yesterday are just a fraction of what we have available.’

He pleaded with everyone who went to the protest to immediately get a coronavirus test and isolate until they got a negative result.

‘You did the wrong thing yesterday by going to the protest, do the right thing by your families today and self-isolate and get a test,’ he said.

Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon said more than 5,000 reports had already been made to Crime Stoppers from members of the public who knew somebody who attended the rallies and breached public health orders.

‘I’m gratified by the fact that over 5,000 reports have been made to Crime Stoppers for members of the public,’ he said.

‘Even more importantly, over 200 people have so far been identified and police are currently following those people up to take appropriate action.’

Protesters were met by mounted police outside Town Hall in Sydney - with neither group prepared to back down

Protesters were met by mounted police outside Town Hall in Sydney – with neither group prepared to back down 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday joined a chorus of politicians and officials to rebuke the actions of protesters across the nation, describing their actions as selfish and reckless

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday joined a chorus of politicians and officials to rebuke the actions of protesters across the nation, describing their actions as selfish and reckless

Penalties will range from fines to charges that will require court appearances.

He urged the community to continue lodging those reports and vowed to investigate every single one in order to bring those involved to justice.

‘The police did an incredible job yesterday in the wake of unprecedented violence,’ he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday joined a chorus of politicians and officials to rebuke the actions of protesters across the nation, describing their actions as selfish and reckless.

‘I think it offended many, many fellow Sydneysiders,’ he said.

‘That type of behaviour doesn’t help anybody. Selfish behaviour doesn’t help anybody… to engage in that was reckless, and it was selfish.’ 

Mr Elliott issued a stern warning to demonstrators, urging them to undertake self isolation and get tested for Covid

Mr Elliott issued a stern warning to demonstrators, urging them to undertake self isolation and get tested for Covid

'It broke my heart,' Ms Berejiklian said of seeing pictures of all the protesters and police response

‘It broke my heart,’ Ms Berejiklian said of seeing pictures of all the protesters and police response

Mr Elliott issued a stern warning to demonstrators, urging them to undertake self isolation and get tested for Covid.

‘You did the wrong thing yesterday,’ he said. ‘But do the right thing by your family and friends and get tested today… There is too much uncredible information floating around on social media.

‘Everyone who attended yesterday has a moral obligation to get tested and to self isolate.’ 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian also expressed her outrage at those who attended the protests, revealing seeing photos and footage of what took place ‘broke [her] heart’.

In total, 510 infringement notices were handed out on Saturday. Most of these fines were distributed at the protests.

‘That number will continue to be high as investigations continue,’ Mr Elliott said. ‘That behaviour yesterday can only described as violent, filthy, risky behavior that police will continue to investigate.’   

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk