Night the thin blue line ran into the Maroubra stomp

Night the thin blue line ran into the Maroubra stomp, by Les Kennedy,
Chief Police Reporter - 24th December 2002
(Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald)

When Waverley police and a beach gang dubbed the Bra Boys decided to hold functions on the same night at Coogee RSL Club, it became the ultimate Christmas bash.

At least 30 officers are now "walking wounded" after a running brawl erupted between the gang and off-duty police just before 1am on Saturday.

It began on the first floor and spilt onto the street, with as many as 120 combatants spotlit by police helicopters buzzing overhead. Female officers were allegedly among those bashed.

Officially, it was described in a weekend statement by the city east region commander, Dick Adams, as a brawl that broke out "as people leaving a police Christmas function were accosted by a group of men who were attending a 21st birthday party".

Police now allege that many of the Bra Boys gang - the Bra standing for the last three letters of Maroubra - were in the first-floor bar area, where the birthday party was being held.

Their presence had been unknown to more than 80 off-duty Waverley officers who had booked the second-floor function room for their end-of-year party.

At least half the officers had left before the fight erupted, said one officer, who did not wish to be identified.

"The police copped an absolute flogging. They were outnumbered four to one. Even if we had been there we would be called victims today. There were too many of them."

The local area commander, Bob May, refused to comment yesterday, but confirmed the brawl was the subject of a major investigation by detectives from the eastern beaches command at Maroubra Junction.

Security video from the club has been seized by police and an officer from the professional standards branch is also investigating.

A police helicopter was sent to illuminate the street outside the club while dozens of police rushed to the club and tried to break up the fight, a source confirmed.

They arrived after female officers had tried unsuccessfully to call 000 and then phoned the main police switch, which issued a "signal-one" - officers under attack - alert.

Commander Adams's statement said only six off-duty officers were taken to Prince of Wales Hospital with cuts, bruises and facial injuries.

However, one is still in hospital with a broken leg, and one officer said: "There are about 30 hurt. You should see them at the station. Even the women copped it.

"A couple of blokes are getting x-rays for suspected broken jaws. Some of the girls had their heads slammed into tables. A couple of blokes had their heads slammed into cars.

"There are people here still traumatised by it. The next day some blokes were crying on the phone to their friends about what happened."

It is understood that one version of the fracas has officers leaving the second-floor party trying to intervene in an argument on the first floor.

Another has the fight erupting when a female officer and a colleague were dragged out of a lift on the first floor as they were leaving.

Four men, aged between 18 and 25, have been charged with offences ranging from assault to affray. One allegedly assaulted two policewomen, They will appear in Waverley Local Court on January 21.


Official websites

Clubs NSW

NSW Police

Unofficial NSW Police Site: The Thin Blue Line - Australia

Randwick City Council


Australian Sports and Entertainment Portal: Surfing Portal

Maroubra Boardriders Yahoo! Group


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