Boxing star Jai Opetaia blasted for ‘disgraceful’ attack on police

An Australian boxing champion has been blasted by a magistrate after he became aggressive to police and repeatedly told them to “f**k off” when he was stopped from entering a Sydney nightclub.

Jai Opetaia faced Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday charged with remaining in the vicinity of a licensed premises after being excluded, behaving in an offensive manner in a public place and using offensive language in a public place.

The 27-year-old became aggressive and refused to answer questions, with court documents revealing he began banging on his cell door, urinated in his dock and was verbally abusive to officers following his arrest.

The charges are the result of a night out in Sydney’s CBD on August 14 when Opetaia and a friend attempted to enter Home Nightclub on Cockle Bay Wharf.

Opetaia and his friend walked towards the exit, where the security guard denied them entry and told them they would need to go to the correct entrance.

The pair started moving towards the security guard, prompting five more men to grab Opetaia and move him away.

According to court documents, the boxing champ got into a verbal argument with the security guards but was ultimately denied entry and told to leave.

He remained in the area, with security telling him to move more than 50m away but he refused.

Opetaia was restrained by two security guards until 1.34am when three police officers arrived and put him in handcuffs.

The 27-year-old became aggressive and loudly said “f**k you” to the officers who gave him a final warning and told him he was being recorded.

“You f**king idiots, I’ve sat here arrested … for nothing,” Opetaia said, according to court documents.

He yelled the word “nothing” into a police officer’s face from 5cm away before yelling “for f**k’s sake” and “f**k you” to the officers.

“You are a dumb four-eyed piece of sh*t,” he said to one of the police officers.

The boxing star was taken to Day Street Police Station and charged with remaining in the vicinity of a licensed premises after being excluded, behaving in an offensive manner in a public place and using offensive language in a public place at 4.43am.

He faced court for the first time on Wednesday, and defence lawyer Jason Murakami entered a plea of guilty on his behalf.

Opetaia sat in the back of the court with his head down as Mr Murakami asked magistrate Daniel Covington to consider “exercising discretion” given the 27-year-old entered a guilty plea, had no criminal history and the objective seriousness was low.

“His behaviour is not consistent with the man he is before court today,” Mr Murakami said.

He told the court that Opetaia had not drunk alcohol “all his life” and then drank and “finds himself before the court”.

Mr Murakami said his client was very remorseful and worried about his poor behaviour more than his career being affected.

Mr Covington said Opetaia acted “appallingly”.

“Police have a right to go about their work without being treated like that,” the magistrate said.

“What troubles me is your attitude to police … it’s absolutely disgraceful the way you acted.”

Mr Covington said the 27-year-old’s behaviour reflected “very poorly” on him and told him to “seriously reconsider” drinking alcohol again.

He did not convict the boxing champion but put him on a conditional release order for 24 months.

“I hope you never behave that way towards police again,” Mr Covington said.

Opetaia won the IBF cruiserweight world title on the Gold Coast in July and famously overcame a broken jaw to beat Latvian champion Mairis Briedis.

He has also represented Australia at the Olympic Games in 2012 and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

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