Victoria’s Government has confirmed that CCTV footage released today shows that a man became embroiled in an argument with a homeless woman at Victoria Station station last December.
Zhang-Feng Huang, 67, has since been banned from the station and two of his family have been taken into custody.
However, Victoria Port Committee and Wangaratta Local Area Command officers said Huang was not involved in the incident at the intersection of Victoria Street and Murrumbeena Drive when the homeless woman and her family were on a footpath.
Police said Huang is not facing criminal charges for the incident.
But Victoria Port Committee Member Anna Haynes said he was a “carer for the vulnerable, someone I trust”.
“I’m disgusted at how [the woman] was treated,” she said.
“They abused her and spit on her on the subway. They went to the police station and sat her there for five hours with no evidence that they had anything to do with what happened.”
She said several people had also made statements denying they had anything to do with the incident.
WA Police, who were referred to Victoria Port by Victoria Met Office, have subsequently released CCTV footage of Huang walking into the station on January 22, 2017.
At 1.50pm, staff stopped Huang from boarding a train.
Huang said he did not intend to hurt the woman but had spoken to her after an argument.
Mr Huang said at the time he was “embarrassed”.
Victoria Port Committee and Wangaratta Local Area Command Operations Officer Christine Lister said CCTV footage shows the woman, who was with her family on footpath, being “subjected to repeated insults and incitements”.
Mr Huang said he believed he was defending himself when he entered the station station, following what he perceived as an aggressive comment from a woman in a car.
He said he had apologised to the woman.
“They just got so aggressive. I just wanted to fight back. I had to go in there to defend myself,” he said.
Mr Huang said he had an opportunity to stay in the station but a security guard stood in front of him and was not friendly to him.
He said he now moved back into Victoria Harbour, between Melbourne and Hobart, and that he had given up his Melbourne wages to help support his wife and three daughters.
Assistant Commissioner Donna Reynolds, WA Police’s acting senior crime manager, said: “We’re extremely concerned about this unacceptable behaviour.
“I understand people’s anger towards Mr Huang and the attack he’s so personally embarrassed.
“Despite his apology, he still has a long history of appalling and threatening behaviour against Aboriginal people and vulnerable people who are not of his personal choice.
“We’re not angry about Mr Huang being filmed. We are angry he’s being singled out for criminal charges because of a single statement and because he’s been banned from the station.
“I believe the passenger on the train witnessing the incident will now believe that Mr Huang has committed a serious act of antisocial behaviour.
“This type of behaviour of particularly serious and offensive antisocial behaviour raises a number of questions about the actions of those responsible.
“I’d ask that the person who filmed the incident come forward and provides us with all the relevant information we need.”