Woman arrested after ‘pieface’ attack on NT’s chief minister

Natasha Fyles was at the Sunday markets in Darwin when the alleged provocateur struck.

Natasha Fyles was at the Sunday markets in Darwin when the alleged provocateur struck. Photo: TikTok

Politicians of all stripes have raised alarm at a “disgusting” and “concerning” pie-face attack on Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles.

A cream-covered crepe was allegedly “smooshed” onto Fyles’ face in an unprovoked attack at Darwin’s Nightcliff Markets on Sunday morning.

The Australian reports a 55-year-old woman was arrested on Sunday night. Police are reportedly canvassing if the motive was linked to the woman’s husband’s experience with COVID jab side-effects and a medical operation.

Footage shows a woman approaching Fyles from behind on the footpath outside a Bendigo Bank branch. Fyles looks over her shoulder and smiles.

The alleged attacker, dressed in a khaki dress and black high-heel sandals, holds a white plate in her outstretched right hand. She swings it towards Fyles and shoves it onto her face.

The woman finishes off by giving the Labor politician a shove on the arm as the remnants of the pancake, blobs of cream and plate fall to the ground.

Fyles was said to have been shaken after the incident, which happened about 11.40am at the markets in the heart of her electorate.

A spokeswoman for Fyles confirmed the unknown assailant rubbed the plate in her face, but said Fyles would make no further immediate comments.

It’s not the first time she has been the target of harassment by protesters.

In May she was left distressed after being tailed and confronted by anti-fracking protesters while taking part in a Central Australia trail-running event.

A Facebook user posted about the latest incident as the video was circulated online.

“Wow, high drama at Nightcliff markets just now. A disgruntled female walked up to the chief minister and smooshed a cream pancake right in her face.

“She wiped it off, police called. Cream pie raving something about Fyles stopping her husband having a heart operation.”

One witness told local media that Fyles wiped the cream off as the other woman stood beside her, and other people told off the alleged attacker.

Darwin Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis described the attack as “disgusting”.

“I have never seen anything like that in Darwin in the 30 years I’ve been here,” he told the ABC.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said everyone engaging in democracy, including politicians, “deserves to feel safe and respected”.

NT Country Liberal senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price said the alleged attack was concerning.

“This speaks volumes about the lack of respect for politicians today; as the target of many threats myself, I understand just how concerning this behaviour is,” she said.

“You can disagree respectfully without resorting to aggressive behaviour.”

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