FORMER Newcastle Knight and now Canberra Raiders rising star Tom Starling is one of four men charged with assaulting police after a brawl on the Central Coast overnight.
Police said officers from Brisbane Water police district were called to a restaurant and licensed premises on the corner of the Scenic Highway and Avoca Drive at Kincumber about 10.45pm on Saturday night after security requested assistance to eject a patron.
When police arrived, they were told the patron had left, so officers conducted an inspection at the location.
While inside, police say they assisted security who were involved in an altercation with another patron who had allegedly failed to leave the premises.
The 19-year-old man was arrested and while he was being escorted from the venue, police allege three other men - aged 20, 22 and 24 - became aggressive and assaulted police numerous times in an attempt to intervene.
With assistance from the Public Order and Riot Squad, all four men were arrested and taken to Gosford police station.
A male senior constable sustained a cut to his hand and was assessed by paramedics at the scene.
No other officers were injured during the incident.
The 19-year-old man was charged with excluded person fail to leave premises when required, common assault, two counts of resisting an officer in execution of duty, two counts of assaulting an officer in execution of duty and affray.
The 20-year-old man was taken to Gosford Hospital for treatment to a laceration on his arm.
He was released and charged with three counts of assaulting an officer in execution of duty, affray and resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty.
The 22-year-old man was charged with five counts of assaulting an officer in execution of duty, affray and resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty.
The 24-year-old man was charged with assaulting an officer in execution of duty, affray and resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty.
They were all granted conditional police bail to appear in Gosford Local Court on January 21.
Inquiries are continuing.
Starling, 22, made his NRL debut with the Knights in round 25 of the 2018 season before parting ways with the club to join the Raiders.
He had a breakout year in 2020 when star hooker Josh Hodgson tore his ACL and was rewarded with a two-year contract extension.
Starling had played his junior rugby league for the Kincumber Colts before signing with the Knights.
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