Former Auburn City Council deputy mayor Salim Mehajer is in the spotlight again.
Former Auburn City Council deputy mayor Salim Mehajer is in the spotlight again. DAVID MOIR

Mehajer charged with assault of driver, reporter

THE former deputy mayor of Sydney's Auburn council, Salim Mehajer, has been charged with assaulting a TV reporter, hours after allegedly assaulting a taxi driver at Sydney's Star Casino early on Saturday.

Mr Mehajer, 30, was charged on Saturday night with assault occasioning actual bodily harm after Seven Network journalist Laura Banks was injured attempting to question him after he spent the night in police custody.

Ms Banks made a complaint to police after Mr Mehajer allegedly forcibly slammed a car door shut on her arm as he left Sydney City Central Police Station.

He had only moments earlier been charged with stealing a taxi driver's EFTPOS machine and then tossing it at his head following a scuffle at The Star casino in the early hours of Saturday.

He also allegedly stole the the driver's mobile phone while getting out of the taxi at The Star about 4.30am.

He allegedly returned the machine by throwing it, injuring the 38-year-old driver's nose, and the phone was found a short distance from the car.

Police charged him with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and larceny before releasing him from cells about 12.30pm.

But as he came out of custody he walked straight into a second fracas with another taxi driver, this time in front of a press pack.

As he jumped in the back of the taxi, the driver was informed by journalists that his passenger had just been charged with assaulting a driver hours earlier.

Mr Mehajer refused to leave the taxi as the driver got out of the car.

Eventually a police officer arrived and ordered Mr Mehajer out of the cab. He refused and the officer had to force him out.

Mr Mehajer wandered in circles until a friend arrived in a white sports car and the pair sped off.

Mr Mehajer's notoriety began with his opulent 2015 wedding, which shut down an entire Auburn street, sparking widespread outrage.



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