Rugby league player Curtis Scott has apologised for his behaviour on the night he was tasered and capsicum-sprayed by police earlier this year.
- NRL star Curtis Scott apologises to the Canberra Raiders, his family and friends for the disruption his January arrest caused
- A Sydney magistrate dismissed all charges against Scott after seeing police body-cam video of his arrest
- Scott says the incident, during which he was tasered and capsicum-sprayed, left him suffering anxiety attacks
A Sydney magistrate dismissed all charges against the Canberra Raiders star on Thursday, after the court was shown confronting footage of his arrest at about 2:00am on January 27.
The video, recorded from a police officer’s body camera, showed Scott was asleep under a tree in Sydney’s Moore Park sports precinct when officers roused him.
They handcuffed him and told him “don’t resist”, while a groggy Scott swore and repeatedly said he had done nothing wrong.
An officer then released capsicum spray into Scott’s face and later fired a taser at him, though the footage suggested he was not resisting the officers.
A policeman could be heard calling Scott a “stupid idiot”, while an officer told the footballer “it’s not that bad” when he complained of his pain.
Despite Scott pleading guilty to two counts of offensive behaviour, the court dropped all charges against him, which also included assaulting an officer, resisting an officer and remaining on trust lands after a request to leave.
‘I’d like to move on with my life’
Scott returned to Canberra today and spoke about the incident at a press conference, saying he took full responsibility for his actions on the night.
“I definitely didn’t go out to put myself in that position but, unfortunately, I did,” he said.
“I am happy it’s all out of the way now and I’d like to move on with my life.”
The outside centre, who was a new recruit to the Raiders this year, said Magistrate Jennifer Giles’s decision had lifted a “big weight off my shoulders”.
He expressed gratitude to coach Ricky Stuart and his team mates for supporting him since the incident, which had left him “laying down in bed at night thinking ‘if one of these charges stick, I could be out of the workforce’.”
“I feel like I let a lot people down in the club,” Scott said.
“Ricky has been outstanding — he told me at the start not to lie to him, to tell the truth … but there has been a lot of people at this club going in to bat for me.
“It has been pretty traumatic for me … I can’t really sit back and have a sook about what happened, because it has happened, it’s in the past now. I just have to get on with it, and that’s what I’ve done.
Officers ‘let a lot of good police down’
In her decision yesterday, Magistrate Giles praised Scott’s attitude — including his willingness to plead guilty — and said the police’s treatment of him was “quite a punishment” .
“You are a person on whom this experience has not been wasted and you are unlikely to repeat it,” she said.
“Being capsicum-sprayed whilst you are handcuffed and not decontaminated for some 19-odd minutes, that’s much worse than anything I could do to you.”
Today, Stuart said he had always trusted his player’s word, even before seeing footage of the incident.
“But he knew that he’d be sacked from the club if he assaulted a police officer,” the coach said.
“That was always hanging over his head, too, because — as you can see from the vision — Curtis didn’t remember a lot of that.
“I believe those police officers have let a lot of good police officers down in regards to their actions towards Curtis.”
Stuart said that while most people supported the police, “I don’t believe they would support those actions of those officers that night”.
Scott has been nursing a leg injury, but Stuart said he hoped the player would be available for selection next week.