16th Nov 89




Another misreported article which appeared in the Royal Gazette, mind you, the press liaison office were familiar with euphemisms and part-truths ...

16th November 1989 - Player Hurt in bar Scuffle

French rugby player Mr. Maurice Dupin, suffered a dislocated shoulder in a late night scuffle with police after a misunderstanding arose over an unpaid liquor bill.   And policeman, Mr. Dupin, a flanker who played four times in France in 1968, is expected to miss four weeks as a result of injury.  Mr. Dupin was injured after police were called to the Oasis nightclub on Front Street late on Saturday when the French players refused to pay for drinks ordered for them by members of the United States rugby team which earlier that day had defeated them at the World Rugby Classic.  Sources say the Americans, who had been drinking whisky, ordered a round of the drink for the French team - but left the bar without paying for it.  A bartender asked the Frenchman to pay for the liquor - but they refused, and with the language barrier making it difficult to explain the situation, bouncers were called to remove them from the club.   When it proved difficult because of the size of the French players, Police were called - and Mr. Dupin suffered the injury during a scuffle sources say.

The above account sounds reasonable, but the truth was a little different ....

The Americans had ordered a drink for the French and left without paying for same.  Understandably, this upset the bar staff but then, whose fault is it and who should have paid?  Answer; the bar staff should have ensured the Americans paid and the doormen should have been called to deal with them leaving without making payment.  In effect this little practical joke amounted to theft.

The French were a little confused.  They had been brought, so they thought, a drink and had begun to consume it.  Now the bar staff wanted the drinks paid for.  The language barrier did not help.

The police were already at the nightclub.  A group of us, having finished our narcotics duties were having a quiet drink when the disturbance arose.  The Americans had left and a barman was arguing with the French.  We stepped in, standing between the parties to 'prevent a breach of the peace' (keep the warring factions apart).  As I attempted to explain to the barman that the French could hardly be held liable if he (the barman) had not secured payment for the drinks, so two members of the narcotics department tried to calm the French.  This was successful, to an extent.

Most of the French left, or were leaving, when Mr. Dupin made a bad mistake; he pushed a narcotics officer in the chest and moved toward the barman.  His aggressive state (having already assaulted a police officer) was obvious and he can consider himself very lucky the officer he pushed exercised self-control.   The officer concerned was more than capable of dispatching Mr. Dupin.

As Mr. Dupin moved forward and I was the only person between him and the barman, as he moved to push me out of the way, it did not prove too difficult to complete a 'hip throw'.  The weight of Mr. Dupin and the momentum caused me to land with my full force on his shoulder.  An arm lock was sufficient to put an end to his struggling and he was arrested.

We took him the 500 yards to Hamilton Police station where the station sergeant suggested that, in the interests of goodwill (Mr. Dupin was a member of a touring rugby side in the local competition and a police officer) and so that we did not draw unnecessary attention to oursleves (we did not need the adverse publicity), it may be best if he were released.

It was agreed by all concerned that this 'scuffle' would go unreported.





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