Bernard Tomic has accepted blame over his arrest in Miami but says police didn’t give him enough time to leave his $A7000-a-night hotel penthouse following complaints of loud music and early morning partying.
Tomic was arrested, handcuffed and transported to Miami’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center early on Wednesday, in an incident Pat Rafter says suggests Australia’s top-ranked, but controversy-prone tennis player has “hit rock bottom”.
The 22-year-old was charged with resisting a police officer without violence and trespassing, and was shirtless in the mug shot released by the Miami Beach police.
Authorities said he pointed his finger aggressively at hotel security officers and dismissed police officers’ requests to leave the W Hotel.
Tomic played down the late-night incident as “just a noise complaint”.
“It was definitely my fault from what happened,” he told Fox Sports after being released on bail.
“I was asleep at several occasions when they complained at first but it was just a noise complaint, and like I said I’m sorry for the police and the disturbance I caused.”
Tomic admitted to slamming the door in the face of hotel security officers, who witnesses said went to the penthouse three times in an attempt to end the noise.
“Yeah, because I told them that I wasn’t playing the music too loud and he was unhappy with the volumes,” he said.
“So I asked him to come in and we negotiated the volume and he still wasn’t happy when he came back the second time.
“So when he came back I was just disappointed to see police there and I said obviously, `Can I have a little bit more time to collect my stuff?’ And unfortunately they didn’t give me enough time.
“I’m just happy I got out and no one got hurt.”
It continues a tumultuous fortnight for Tomic, who was kicked off Australia’s Davis Cup team for a tirade against Tennis Australia (TA) officials including Rafter at Wimbledon and lost in the first round of this week’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Rhode Island.
Rafter, Tennis Australia’s director of player performance, hoped the arrest could mark a turning point for Tomic.
“I’ve had a strange relationship (with Tomic),” Rafter told 2GB.
“But I’ve always seen there’s been a really good upside with Bernie as well so and I always keep the door open for Bernard to come back and have a chat.
“It looks like overnight he’s probably hit rock bottom, so hopefully when people hit rock bottom they can turn things around.”
TA president Steven Healy admits he was “very worried” about the precocious talent.
“We are very worried about Bernard it certainly is a very sad situation,” Healy told Melbourne radio station 3AW.
“We hope this is a turning point in the road for him and that he realises the error of his ways and makes some changes.
“He’s a real talent, and it’s just a shame that talent is being wasted.”