THE Gold Coast’s most notorious case of alleged surf rage looks set to remain in legal limbo unless former world champion Sunny Garcia voluntarily returns to face accusations of assault.
Queensland Police have issued an arrest warrant for Garcia in relation to an alleged fight with a local surfer during the Breaka Pro at Burleigh in February, but he must be in the country to face the music.
The news comes at the end of a week dominated by the issue of surf rage after violent footage of a brawl at Duranbah emerged last weekend.
While competing in the Breaka Pro, Garcia and fellow professional Jeremy Flores were allegedly involved in a fight with local surfer Adam Clarke, apparently sparked by an incident in the water involving Garcia’s son Stone.
Footage of the fight was beamed around the world after it was filmed by a Brazilian cameraman, who was also allegedly assaulted.
The cameraman lodged a complaint with police but then withdrew it, while Mr Clarke also lodged a police complaint after Garcia had left the country.
A police spokeswoman this week confirmed the matter was still active, but it was unlikely Garcia would be extradited.
“There is a current arrest warrant issued in relation to this matter,” the spokeswoman said. “This warrant can be executed in any Australian state.
“Any decision to extradite any person is based upon a range of factors including the existence of the legal means to do so based on the relevant law in the country or state from which the extradition is being sought and the particular circumstance of the case under consideration.”
Lawyer Allan Dick who is representing Mr Clarke said Garcia would have to be back in the country for the case to proceed.
“We are awaiting police charges if he ever does come back,” he said.
“The complaint is still there as a common assault so we would assume it is an active file.
“I would think there would be an arrest warrant for him but I would assume there would also be a notification at Customs if he ever did come back into the country.”
Mr Dick also scuttled speculation a monetary deal had been agreed between Garcia and Mr Clarke but was never paid.
Lawyer Chris Nyst, who advised Garcia at the time of the alleged incident, has previously said Garcia was willing to return to face the allegations. The Bulletin understands Garcia can still nominate for events on the Gold Coast or in Australia if he chooses.
The incident left a sour taste in the mouth’s of Burleigh surfers, a feeling experienced again this week further south following the Duranbah brawl.
For the full story head to www.goldcoast.com.au