Teen boy 'taped policeman's baton threat'
A 14-YEAR-OLD boy says he used his mobile phone to secretly record a police officer's threat to assault him with a baton. The boy said he was intimidated by Leading Senior Constable Matthew Lake, who he said threatened to shove a baton up his backside. The officer has been put on alternative duties while the Ethical Standards Department investigates.
The 20-minute one-on-one interview - over an accusation the boy pushed a younger child off his bike and punched him repeatedly - was at Narre Warren station last Thursday. According to a tape heard by the Herald Sun, Sen-Constable Lake warned he'd circulate the boy's photo to other police so they could harass him.
The boy said the officer also waved a baton at him during repeated threats. He said that when Sen-Constable Lake left the interview room at one point, he turned on his mobile phone recorder. On his return, Sen-Constable Lake advised the boy anything he said could be used as evidence in court.
He then asked if the boy wanted the matter to end in court. Recorded was this comment: "If I hear one more complaint . . . about your behaviour, I'll shove this thing so far up your a***. . . you won't know what day it is."
The boy was eventually given a warning; on leaving, he told his mother he had been threatened. She phoned Sen-Constable Lake, told him the interview had been recorded, then taped several heated conversations with the officer. The registered nurse said he tried to calm her, apologising and explaining he was trying to teach her son a lesson and handled it the "wrong way".
She said she was not permitted to sit with her son during the interview, which is against police regulations when dealing with a child. "The more I listen to it, the more angry I get. I feel terrible I didn't go into that room," she said. "I said 'Don't be rough with him'. When my son got out of there he was pale. He couldn't breathe." She said her son suffered an asthma attack soon afterward and had to be put on a ventilator pump. The next day he was prescribed sedatives because he could not sleep.
She said she would seek legal advice over the unprofessional and damaging conduct. "I feel abused," the boy said. "He's a big guy. He stood over me . . . he had a baton and I thought he was going to hit me. He was waving it in my face."
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