The deputy mayor of a Sydney council who allegedly threatened to find out where the father of a Lindt Cafe siege survivor lived and kidnap his children has been banned from the gym where the incident took place.
Salim Mehajer, the Auburn deputy mayor who made headlines after closing a street for his lavish wedding in August, is accused of intimidating behaviour towards Bruce Herat.
It is alleged there was a confrontation between Mehajer, 29, and Mr Herat at the Anytime Fitness gym in Burwood, in Sydney’s inner-west, on September 16.
Police charged Mehajer with intimidation earlier this month and he was also served with an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO).
In a document tendered to Burwood Local Court, personal trainer Mr Herat said Mehajer unleashed an abusive tirade when he spoke to him in the gym.
He said he spoke to Mehajer and said: “Excuse me, can you take care not to drop the weights, it damages the machines and in the long run causes more costs for member of the club.”
Mehajer allegedly replied: “Who the f*** are you to talk to me? What gives you the right to tell me anything about how I use this machine?”
Mr Herat replied: “All I’m doing is to let you know the rules and directives of this club.”
Mehajer then allegedly continued the abuse, saying “Don’t you know who I am? I pay my fees.”
Mr Herat told police Mehjer then followed him to his car when he left the gym.
He said the deputy mayor approached him in an aggressive manner and standing about six inches away, said “Who … do you think you are talking to me like you did?”
Mr Herat replied: “Back away from me, you’re aggressive and in my personal space.”
Mehajer allegedly replied “You have no right to speak to me the way you did. You’re just a personal trainer and beneath me.”
“I’m going to find out where you live … and kidnap your children.”
Mr Herat said he asked: “Who are you?” and Mehajer replied “I’m Salim Mehajer”.
“So you intend to kidnap my children,” Mr Herat said.
Mehajer then allegedly replied: “Yes I will.”
Interim AVO conditions have been imposed, pending another hearing next month, including:
a ban on Mehajer approaching or talking to Mr Herat
a ban on Mehajer attending Burwood’s Anytime Fitness centre, where the confrontation is alleged to have taken place
Mehajer made no comment when leaving court this morning.
The AVO and the intimidation charge will be dealt with in court again on November 19.
Mr Herat’s son Joel was one of the survivors of last year’s Martin Place siege, in which Man Haron Monis took cafe customers and staff hostage for 16 hours.