Oztag player Damian Rangi’s wife and two-year-old son watched in horror as he was ...
THE last thing Damian Rangi remembers before waking up in an ambulance is trying to break up a fight between two players during his Oztag grand final in St Marys.
The Minchinbury resident, 29, was hospitalised after he was the victim of a coward punch during his division 8 mixed grand final two weeks ago.
Paramedics were called to the Kingsway playing fields about 8pm on September 8 where Mr Rangi was convulsing after being hit on the back of the head during the melee.
“I was knocked out and hit the ground, and was told I started having convulsions,” Mr Rangi said.
The incident was witnessed by his horrified wife and two-year-old son.
He told the Standard he was breaking up a fight between two female players on opposing sides during the game’s second half after a penalty was blown by the referee.
“I was trying to break up the two girls as they were hitting and kicking ... and it got bigger,” Mr Rangi said.
“Many (people) from the sidelines got involved. The last thing I remember is pulling two of our girls away — the next thing I knew I was woken up by paramedics 30 minutes later.” Mr Rangi’s wife and young son watched as he was taken to Nepean Hospital by ambulance.
He was kept under observation overnight and had various X-rays and CT scans, which luckily came back all clear.
Mr Rangi sustained severe bruising and swelling to his face but said he was very lucky.
“I am still struggling to eat and chew two weeks later and have bad headaches, but overall I have been lucky,” he said.
Police were called to the fields and took statements.
A police spokesman said said they were still investigating the incident and urged members of the public to come forward.
“We are still investigating the event.
“Mr Rangi sustained the most serious injuries but many other players were hurt, currently we do not have clear information and are appealing for witnesses to come forward,” the spokesman said.
Penrith Touch Football Association president John Howard said the opposing team had been stood down from the competition following the association’s own preliminary investigation into the incident.
“We have suspended the team from playing in the next competition,” Mr Howard said.
“We have also suspended some individual players from playing in any other association.
“Currently no one has come forward and identified the person involved, and the investigation has been left in the hands of the police.”
Anyone with information who has not yet spoken to officers should call St Marys police on 9677 7499 or via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Picture: MATT SULLIVAN Minchinbury’s Damian Rangi suffered from severe swelling and bruising to the head after he was coward punched while trying to break up a fight.