Sportsman accused of assault now in custody

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A Kiwi sportsman alleged to have a punched a woman in a Queenstown bar is in custody after appearing in court today (Thursday).

Judge Stephen O’Driscoll suppressed any details relating to the man’s identification, including age, occupation, previous career and the name of the bar where the alleged incident took place.

The alleged offender – facing charges of assaulting a woman, assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and escaping custody – appeared in Alexandra District Court today and entered no plea.

The man is to appear in another district court – also suppressed – on July 7.

Meanwhile, the owner of the Queenstown bar claims the man “lost the plot” after being arrested. 

The owner says the man was removed from his premises for allegedly punching a woman in the face at about 1am on Wednesday. 

It is understood the victim is his partner. 

“We saw it, we dealt with it, he was removed and fortuitously the police were out the front and we brought it to their attention – they went and had a word with him and at that point he basically lost the plot then he tried to leg-it,” the owner explains. 

The bar owner, who says the man was in his establishment a while, doesn’t believe he was intoxicated. 

“From what I can gather, he went out quite straightforward, there was no resistance. It was a fairly isolated incident in one part of the bar.” 

Sergeant Brian Cameron says the man “tried to run away from the police officer at the scene after he was arrested”. 

“He made an attempt to push past the officer and run off and he was apprehended a very short distance away. It was a minor assault on police, the officer suffered no injury.” 

The woman hasn’t suffered “significant injury”, Cameron adds. 

“She’s still being spoken to by police.” 

Local eyewitness Steve Wilde says he didn’t realise who the arrested man was till a friend of the man told him his identity. 

“I was quite shocked – firstly for seeing a man hit a woman – that’s shocking. But when I found out [the arrested man’s identity] I was even more horrified by the fact that he is a well-known person.”