Canberra Raiders centre Curtis Scott said he was ‘bitter’ after he was pepper sprayed and tasered by police, following accusations he assaulted an officer.
The 22-year-old had been charged with seven offences – two of assaulting a police officer and one of resisting arrest – after officers found him asleep under a tree in Sydney’s Moore Park following Australia Day celebrations on January 27.
All but two charges have been dropped as confronting body cam footage emerged showing Scott crying out in agony before being put in handcuffs.
Speaking to Seven News, the NRL star said he was frustrated nobody had taken his side over the incident that nearly cost him his career.
Disturbing footage has emerged showing Canberra Raiders centre Curtis Scott writhing in pain after being pepper sprayed and tasered by police during an incident in Sydney in January
‘I’d never assault a police officer and that was probably the hardest thing, sitting on that for nine months – knowing you haven’t done what they’ve said – and you’ve got the whole world coming down on your shoulders,’ Scott said.
‘Everybody on your back, making out that you’re some monster, a cop basher. In the back of my mind, I knew if one of these charges stuck I’d be digging holes for the rest of my life.’
He said the video made him feel ‘sick’ and he wasn’t able to watch it all the way through.
The NRL star said he felt like he was living in a ‘nightmare’ and that a lot of ex-players were quick to turn their backs on him.
‘In myself I’m bitter, I’m bitter that everyone kind of just took their side and did not consider my side of the story,’ Scott said.
The 22-year-old said he held no ill will towards police and knew they had ‘the toughest job in the world’.
Scott’s lawyer argued the decision to taser the NRL star was disproportionate considering his client had only raised his voice and was following the police order not to resist arrest.
Speaking out after the incident, Scott said he felt ‘bitter’ nobody took his side
The rugby league player can be heard in the footage repeatedly saying he had ‘done nothing wrong’.
An officer is heard saying ‘relax it’s just pepper spray’ before Scott shouts ‘how can I relax?’.
Magistrate Jennifer Giles said the vision was so difficult to watch she did not want to see it a third time and criticised police for claiming they acted appropriately in handcuffing an unconscious man.
Magistrate Giles said that argument was ‘a very long and frightening bow’.
‘Being capsicum sprayed whilst you are handcuffed and not decontaminated for some 19 odd minutes, that’s much worse than anything I can do to you,’ she said.
Vision played in court on Thursday showed Scott being told by an officer ‘it’s not that bad’ after he was pepper-sprayed in the face
‘Convicting you and fining you would serve absolutely no purpose.’
The judge ruled the arrest unlawful and added Scott had since been sober for five months.
Scott’s lawyer Sam Macedone said the NRL player had feared he may have jeopardised his future in the league following the arrest and also lost a Nike sponsorship deal.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said if the allegations were true, Scott would have been sacked.
‘When this all started, Curtis was new to our club and I was very upset and disappointed that this incident occurred,’ Stuart told 2GB’s Ben Fordham.
‘But it was important that Curtis told me the truth; it was the only way we were going to get through it.
‘It was important that Curtis did tell me the truth, and he has. If Curtis had been found guilty of assaulting police officers, he would have been sacked from our club and he knew that from day one.’
Scott pleaded guilty to the remaining two counts of behaving in an offensive manner in a public place.
Prosecutors withdrew the two counts of assaulting a police officer, one of resisting an officer in execution of duty, one of behaving in an offensive manner and one of remaining on Trust lands after being requested to leave.
Mr Macedone said he and Scott would consider taking legal action against police.
The 22-year-old’s legal team have also called for police to cover more than $100,000 in legal fees – with Magistrate Giles due to return a decision on the matter on September 25.
Scott said he hadn’t even watched the full video as it made him feel ‘sick’ (pictured in a press conference on Friday)