Canberra Raiders hooker Tom Starling has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer in a brawl on the NSW Central Coast.
Starling, 22, was charged with assaulting an officer in the execution of his duty, affray and resisting or hindering an officer.
He was one of four men charged after police were allegedly assaulted during the brawl at a restaurant on Saturday night.
The Raiders issued a brief statement on Sunday saying they have been made aware of an incident involving Starling overnight and have informed the NRL integrity unit.
An NRL spokesman said the unit was liaising with police and the club.
Starling burst onto the NRL scene this year as a back-up hooker for the Raiders after they lost captain Josh Hodgson to a season-ending knee injury.
He proved a crucial part in their run to the NRL’s preliminary finals, earning a new two-year contract in September.
Police say they were called to the restaurant in Kincumber after security called for assistance in dealing with a patron who wouldn’t leave.
When police arrived, they were told the patron had left, but security became involved in an altercation with another patron they say failed to leave the licensed premises.
The 19-year-old man was arrested and while he was being escorted from the venue, three other men – aged 20, 22 and 24 – allegedly became aggressive and assaulted police numerous times in an attempt to intervene.
#EXCLUSIVE: Canberra #Raiders rising star Tom #Starling has been charged with assaulting police after a brawl on the Central Coast. The NRL is aware of the incident. @9NewsSyd pic.twitter.com/CZJN7U1i8j
— Tiffiny Genders (@tiffgenders) December 5, 2020
With help from the riot squad, all four men were arrested and charged with similar offences to Starling.
They were all granted conditional bail to appear at Gosford Local Court on January 21, 2021.
Apart from a male senior constable being cut on his hand, no other officers were injured.
The 20-year-old man who was arrested was taken to Gosford Hospital to be treated for an arm laceration.