A little boy caught in a violent street brawl has spoken about the painful moment when "the police sprayed my eyes".

Ryan Woonton was videoed rubbing his eyes and crying after he was pepper-sprayed by police.

The video was captured by a resident on the street after the situation escalated violently between police and a crowd that had gathered.

Officers were at Lavinia Cres in Mangere after being called to an alleged stabbing on Sunday morning.


They began using pepper spray to control a large crowd after fists started flying.

Speaking about the incident tonight, young Ryan told TV One's Seven Sharp: "The police sprayed my eyes -- it hurt."

Ryan's father, Rangi Woonton, told the current affairs programme he quickly became upset when he realised what had happened.

"I've just seen him running back to me, I went: 'Oh, you sprayed him'. I said: 'You fellas sprayed him'!

"I was really angry with that -- but that's any natural reaction [for] a parent."

The video of the incident was uploaded on to Facebook and reeled in many comments condemning the police. Others, however, have blasted Ryan's parents for not removing him from the area.

Police and a South Auckland community leader also criticised the fact Ryan was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mr Woonton said: "One person said that I'm a bad parent -- and he's a community leader. And who is he? He doesn't know what happened.


"My kids love me -- I give them everything they want," he told Seven Sharp.

Despite officers pepper-spraying his son, Mr Woonton said he would not be making a formal complaint.

"At the time, I was going to. But I'm not doing that. I'm just moving on."

A 22-year-old woman, a 22-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman were arrested after the brawl. They were all charged with assaults police, obstructs police and resists police. No police officers were injured.