Concerning and distressing footage has captured the moment Sydney’s ever-present sign man Danny Lim was arrested by three police officers earlier today in Barangaroo.

Lim is a figure on the streets of Sydney, thanks to his self-made sandwich board signs that cheekily poke fun at political issues or simply encourage people to smile.

However this morning, a group of officers approached Lim and apprehended him, with the 74-year-old being physically restrained by police in footage that was uploaded to Facebook.

Niki Antsiss captured the incident, stating in an accompanying caption that “This is absolutely disgusting. Every week this sweet old man stands at Barangaroo with a funny sign and his little dog trying to make people smile. It works every time, I genuinely start my day happy. Today I saw 3 police officers brutally rip his sign from his back and arrest him while he was screaming for them to not take his sign. He did nothing wrong! 1 police officer remained and dragged the poor scared little dog away and at least 40 people followed him telling them how appalled they were at what they had just witnessed.

This is absolutely disgusting. Every week this sweet old man stands at Barangaroo with a funny sign and his little dog trying to make people smile. It works every time, I genuinely start my day happy. Today I saw 3 police officers brutally rip his sign from his back and arrest him while he was screaming for them to not take his sign. He did nothing wrong! 1 police officer remained and dragged the poor scared little dog away and at least 40 people followed him telling them how appalled they were at what they had just witnessed. It was the most spiteful act of bullying I have ever seen and NSW Police Force should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.

Posted by Niki Anstiss on Thursday, 10 January 2019

NSW Police later confirmed that Lim was arrested for “offensive behaviour,” related to his sign which contained the word “cvn’t” – spelled with a v and an apostrophe like that – twice.

As opposed to other more topical signs Lim’s worn in the past, this one merely encourages people to smile. The sign was posted to Twitter by comedian Dan Ilic back in December.

Lim was reportedly issued an infringement notice and released after being held for a shot period of time.

Strangely enough, Lim was the subject of a legal case in which a District Court judge ruled that his usage of similar word play – this time in a sign directed at Tony Abbott – was not legally offensive, and that the word being alluded to was significantly less offensive in Australia than in other English-speaking countries.

Image: Getty Images / Danny's Page