Cruising for a boozing
Drunk reveller ripped cop’s shirt during wild brawl
A WOMAN who punched on with police during a wild brawl after a boozy cruise said she was drunk at the time.
During the Darling Harbour fracas on February 24, Lia Fekitoa, 25, also grabbed a police radio, ripped an officer’s shirt, and swung at officers. She also told an officer that they were a “‘f...ing little bitch’,” court documents revealed.
Fekitoa pleaded guilty to assaulting and resisting police when she appeared before Downing Centre Local Court yesterday. “I was highly intoxicated,” Fekitoa told the court. “It was out of my character to do something like that.”
Magistrate Daniel Covington recorded a conviction and handed Fekitoa a 12-month good behaviour bond.
“You were upset and you were intoxicated. That does not excuse your behaviour,” Mr Covington said.
But she was just one of six people arrested over the Saturday night melee, which began when a 30m luxury Constellation Cruises catamaran hosting a birthday party returned to King St Wharf to drop off some revellers. Police were told things became heated when the boozedup revellers ignored orders to stand back from a walkway. Lana Marie Battaglia, who was celebrating her 21st birthday, was carried off on a stretcher after being pushed down the stairs as police waded in. Fekitoa’s friend Racheal Matycz, 25, attempted to calm her down but was arrested for resisting police and pleaded guilty. “I was just trying to be a good friend,” she said. Matycz told the court she was a fulltime carer for her autistic five-yearold son, who had required two open-heart surgeries. She also has a three-year-old daughter.
Mr Covington placed her on a 12-month good behaviour bond without conviction. “If alcohol causes you to make these decisions, you may need to rethink how much you’re drinking,” he said.
Teresa Sio, 23, pleaded not guilty to her role in the fight and will return on April 26 while John Naisali, 26, pleaded not guilty and is back in May. Theresa Ahofono, 23, did not enter a plea and is expected to return to court on April 24 with Agnes Tuivailala, 24, who pleaded guilty to affray but not guilty to assault.
Lia Fekitoa leaves court yesterday; (above left) Lana Marie Battaglia (also pictured left) is carried from her 21st birthday cruise.