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Broome Police charge man with aggravated assault over detained children

Giovanni Torre -

Broome Police have charged a 45-year-old man with three counts of aggravated assault in relation to very young Aboriginal children who he allegedly zip-tied and detained at a home in Cable Beach.

Images of the children, aged six, seven and eight, distressed and with their wrists bound with zip-ties have sparked outrage from the public.

Police said they were called to the home on Conkerberry Road about 2.15pm on Tuesday for a reported trespass incident. Officers arrived a short time later and found two children - the six-year-old girl and seven-year-old boy - had been physically restrained.

The officers called St John Ambulance to assess the children, who were reunited with family members soon afterwards.

Police later identified and located a third child who had been detained - the eight-year-old boy who had left the scene prior to police arrival.

The man, from Broome, was taken into custody, interviewed over the matter and charged. It is alleged the force used to restrain the children was not proportionate in the circumstances.

The man was granted bail and is due to appear in court at a later date.

National Indigenous Times understands the home was unattended and being prepared for sale, and the three young children were swimming in its pool when the man, whose connection to the home is unknown, allegedly detained them.

Police said they "continue to work closely with the affected families and acknowledge the challenging circumstances surrounding this incident", and that community members "are encouraged to allow the court process to run its course".

Image: from social media.

Note: An earlier version of this story said National Indigenous Times understood the home was empty and on sale, and that the man was not the owner of the home, and that these details had not been confirmed.

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