Police seek help on Belmore bottle thrower

Police are appealing for more help from fans to identify the person who hurled a glass bottle toward the Canberra bench during Monday night’s NRL clash with Canterbury at Belmore Sportsground.

The Wild Turkey bourbon bottle narrowly missed Raiders players on the sideline, instead shattering as it hit one of the club’s exercise bikes.

The absence of CCTV footage at the suburban venue has made the police task of identifying the bottle thrower more difficult.

“We’ve since spoken to a number of witnesses but at this stage I wouldn’t say that we have anybody particularly in mind in respect of the offence,” said Superintendent Michael McLean on Tuesday afternoon.

The bottle was thrown from the Bulldogs members’ area in the western concourse and Bulldogs boss Raelene Castle said on Monday night the club was confident they knew who threw it.

But it is understood a lack of cooperative witnesses has stymied the club’s best efforts to identify the perpetrator.

“I won’t comment on the club’s position last night,” Superintendent McLean said.

“Certainly they (the Bulldogs) are assisting us with our inquiries, they’ve assisted us in terms of their security staff there and versions obtained from them, also some mobile phone footage and so on.

“All I would say is I’m not satisfied beyond any reasonable doubt … at a situation where I could say or particularly identify a particular person.”

McLean asked fans to come forward with any mobile phone photos or video which could help police identify the thrower.

The incident happened midway through the second half of the Raiders’ 22-8 win after Bulldogs’ second-rower Josh Jackson was sent to the sinbin.

Belmore Sportsground, which hosts two NRL matches this season, isn’t equipped with CCTV cameras.

“Certainly it does make it more difficult, we rely heavily on CCTV these days in respect to our investigations,” Superintendent McLean said.

Castle said on Monday night, the Bulldogs were confident of nailing the offender, who faces a possible life ban from sporting venues in NSW.

“We’ve identified the individual and the fans have helped us identify who that person is and they’re speaking to that person,” Castle said.

“They got on it and dealt with it really quickly.

“It’s not acceptable. Absolutely not acceptable. We’ll be doing all we can to make sure that we communicate with our fans that behaviour is not acceptable.

“They can’t get glass into that place unless you’ve snuck it in. I can only assume that person has snuck it in. We believe we know who the person is.”

The NRL declined to comment on the incident.

Police questioned a number of men during and after the game in regard to the incident, which brought back memories of last year’s ‘Bad Friday’ crowd trouble at ANZ Stadium.

Canterbury successfully used CCTV footage last year in identifying those who showered match officials with bottles following the spiteful Good Friday clash with South Sydney.

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