Father-of-two sprayed in the face with powerful chemical and hit with baton by police after peaceful protest in Tesco store over faulty TV
- Officers squirted pava spray into Eric Rawlinson’s eyes after he refused to leave the supermarket in Swindon
- He had staged a four-hour sit-in protest after staff told him they would not exchange his television set
A father was sprayed in the face with a powerful chemical by police who arrested him for staging a sit-in protest at a supermarket about a faulty television set.
Officers squirted pava spray into Eric Rawlinson’s eyes and struck him on both arms with a baton before removing him from the Tesco Extra store in handcuffs while staff and shoppers watched.
Mr Rawlinson, 41, had been protesting peacefully for four hours at the Swindon supermarket because staff told him they would not exchange his 10-month-old television, which had a faulty on-off switch.
But his demonstration ended dramatically after the store’s manager called police.
Officers arrived to find the unemployed former design manager sitting on a swing chair in the corner of the electrical goods area.
After Mr Rawlinson told them he could not move, they squirted his eyes with the noxious spray – more potent than CS gas – and then struck his arms to release his grip from the chair.
He was handcuffed face down on the floor. Then two other police vans and two squad cars arrived.