A father was sprayed in the face with pava spray, more potent than CS gas, by police who arrested him for staging a sit-in protest at a Tesco supermarket about a faulty television set.
After squirting pava spray into Eric Rawlinson’s eyes police struck him on both arms with a baton, handcuffed him face down on the floor while two other police vans and two squad cars arrived. He was then removed 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.
Store manager Stuart Edginton said he was forced to call Wiltshire Police because Mr Rawlinson ignored repeated requests to leave and warnings from staff.
Mr Rawlinson, a father-of-two from Abbey Meads, Swindon, described the encounter as ‘the giants against the little people’.
Perhaps the public should show support for Mr Rawlinson by avoiding shopping in Tesco.