Footy stars tackle domestic violence suspect in shock arrest
Brisbane Broncos stars Matt Lodge, Ben Te'o and Jordan Riki pulled off a dramatic citizens arrest on the Sunshine Coast to save a woman embroiled in a terrifying case of domestic violence.
A team dinner in Mooloolaba on Wednesday night ended with the Broncos coming to the aid of a woman who claimed she was in danger of being killed by her partner.
Lodge and Te'o were on their way back to Twin Waters Resort, where the team was staying for a pre-season camp, about 8pm when they were confronted by a car blocking the road and hailed down by a distressed woman arguing with a man.
One player told The Courier-Mail the woman said "he is going to kill me" and pleaded with them to call police.
Lodge and Te'o protected the woman in their car, drove her home and alerted teammates via the players' group chat to the unfolding incident.
A group of other Broncos players including captain Alex Glenn arrived at the house and five-game rookie Jordan Riki is understood to have tackled the man and detained him until police arrived.
Sunshine Coast District Police superintendent Craig Hawkins confirmed the players were involved in the arrest.
"They did intervene in an incident in Maroochydore after witnessing an event on the side of the road," he said.
"They saw a woman in distress and intervened. Police were called and took action in regards to a domestic violence incident.
"We don't encourage people to get involved in things like this other than calling police. On this occasion they took the action they did and went to the aid of a young lady they saw was in distress.
"We don't encourage that behaviour but they felt as though they needed to intervene and certainly helped with her protection. Thankfully it worked out appropriately and no-one was injured."
Broncos CEO Paul White, a former police officer, applauded the players' actions in helping the woman.
"They acted instinctively, they didn't have an opportunity to contemplate," he said.
"They saw a woman in distress and went to assist her. They rang police and by the time they arrived, some of the other teammates had arrived and restrained the man.
"I concur with the police, but sometimes you come across things and you have to act instinctively. Our players were confronted with a situation and their actions protected the lady involved.
"The players did what was right. Their immediate concern was for the safety of the woman and police took the necessary action."
The incident was a dramatic turn during what was expected to be a relatively low-key camp on the Sunshine Coast ahead of the 2021 NRL season.
Lodge, 25, is no stranger to confronting incidents after being involved in a violent rampage in New York in 2015, however this time he came to the rescue of a woman in need as a good Samaritan.
At 21, Riki is one of the club's rising stars and has been the talk of the playing group for his actions on the night.
The NRL Integrity Unit was informed of the incident and has cleared the players of any wrongdoing.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as Broncos stars tackle suspect in dramatic citizen's arrest