Pinoi Crocombe received severe facial injuries from the battering he claims was inflicted by about 10 people, whom he alleges included security personnel from On The Rocks nightclub.
Police are investigating a formal complaint from Pinoi’s concerned mum Anna Crocombe, who says there were two police officers at the scene but they took no action to save her son from the beating.
Police spokesman Trevor Pitt denied police officers were present at the beating, adding there was no report of a brawl occuring at the club.
However, On The Rocks manager Eirangi Marsters confirmed a brawl involving Pinoi broke out, outside their premises. An off-duty police officer and the bar’s bouncers were trying to free the victim from the scuffle, she said. A former bouncer was also involved in the fight.
Pinoi Crocombe’s cousin Richard Meuel witnessed the fracas. He and Crocombe had consumed two drinks each at the bar and were heading home, when a police officer tried to grab the car keys off Crocombe.
“Pinoi tried to ask why he did that because we were just going to rest in the car and then the bouncers from On The Rocks came and started punching him,” Meuel said. “I tried to stop them but they held me back.”
“I pleaded to the police officers to stop the brawl because there were about 10 people against one and Pinoi was on the ground, bleeding. But the two police officers did nothing. They didn’t even offer to take him to hospital, we had to walk home after that.”
Trevor Pitt confirmed a struggle took place between Pinoi and a police officer on Tuesday last week, after the officer had taken his keys at the club.
“Police determined he was too intoxicated to drive. As police were taking down details, Crocombe is reported to have punched the officer in the face. Security then came to the officer’s assistance and the struggle was stopped. Crocombe left with a friend and the keys to his vehicle were held at the station. He had been forbidden from driving.”
Pitt said the police met with Crocombe the next day about the matter, but a complaint had since been lodged by his parents.
“The matter is still being looked into and officers have been interviewed. There is no suggestion of a brawl or a mass beating having occurred at the club,” he said. “Crocombe is a disqualified driver and the keys were taken off him before he could drive the car. Police have not yet placed any charges.”
Anna Crocombe said Pinoi was still recovering from the injuries he sustained in the brawl.
“He struggles to sneeze or cough because every time he does that, he feels like his eyeballs are popping out of the socket. He has to hold his eyes if he wants to blow his nose or cough,” she said.
“Pinoi has two kids to look after and he is unable to do any work because of the injuries.”