Police were told a man began filming 31-year-old nurse Rebekka Boicheska on his phone at the Kissing Point Road site in Dundas at 4pm on Monday, before allegedly verbally abusing her about vaccinations.
“There was a gentleman who was filming us workers coming down the driveway here, and then he sort of went onto the main road. He was approaching me with his camera with his phone,” Ms Boicheska told 9News.
Ms Boicheska said she asked the man to step away as he was hurling abuse about vaccinations and that’s when he lashed out, allegedly knocking off her protective visor and striking her in the head.
“He actually took two swings at me, one hit me on this side of my neck, the other one just grazed me sort of on this side,” she said.
“I was quite shaken up, my first thought was just to run to safety.”
Several people waiting for COVID-19 tests went to Ms Boicheska’s aid and her alleged attacker fled on foot.
She was treated at the scene and didn’t have to go to hospital.
Police arrested the 50-year-old at a home in nearby Telopea at 10.30am.
He was taken to Granville Police Station, where he was charged with common assault, two counts of possess prohibited drug and breach of the public health orders.
He was granted conditional bail to attend Parramatta Local Court on Tuesday 28 September 2021.
“Police will allege a man came up to one of the workers going about her tasks, pushed a telephone into her face, dislodged her mask, then struck her in the face, said some horrible things, and then left the scene,” Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.
Health Services Union NSW secretary Gerard Hayes said assaults on people working on the frontline of the pandemic “is beneath contempt”.
“Health and hospital workers are already battling anxiety and exhaustion,” Mr Hayes said.
“Violent attacks like this push them beyond breaking point.”