New Zealand

Thirty cops to 'arrest' Collins

Mon, 25 Mar 2013 14:24
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The Japanese police were very small
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The arrest of All Black Jerry Collins, for violating Japan's Swords and Firearms Control Law, has taken a few intriguing twists since the weekend.

It has been revealed in the New Zealand media that the retired 48-Test veteran was "running from a gang of Brazilian workers" who hated foreign rugby players shortly before his arrest.

It was also revealed that it took more than 30 Japanese police officers to take Collins into custody - despite the fact he didn't behave violently or resist arrest.

Police were called after a "sweating and anxious" Collins went into the shop.

When the first officer arrived on the scene and saw how big Collins was, he immediately called for backup, the department store manager Katsuyuki Aono said.

Police suddenly began to pour into the basement floor of the department where food is sold and soon there were more than 30 officers surrounding him.

"The Japanese police were very small in comparison to him and they must have been worried," Aono said.

Collins, 32, was arrested for carrying two knives in an upmarket department store in the city of Hamamatsu on March 17, and has been held in jail since.

He told TV3's Campbell Live that he was terrified of being attacked and relieved to have been arrested.

Collins, who had been playing for the Yamaha Jubilo club in Iwata, 40 minutes from Hamamatsu, apparently entered the store and placed two 17cm knives on top of a fish counter, before security staff called the police.

It is illegal to carry weapons with blades longer than 15cm without police permission in Japan.

Collins told Campbell Live he was running from a "gang'' that wanted to hurt him and believed the large number of people in the store would prevent him from being attacked.

Anxious and sweating profusely, he was arrested and taken to jail.

Campbell Live identified the "gang" as a group of Brazilian workers who had a grudge against foreign players dating back to before Collin's arrival.

Asked if he had been taking drugs, Collins told the programme he had been tested after arrest and was clean.

He said he had been treated kindly by police and was well.

Meanwhile, Collins' lawyer, Tim Castle, left New Zealand to visit the All Black in jail.

Collins said he was treated "very kindly and very generously'' and looked after as well as "humanly possible'' in the prison.

Although the 32-year-old flank has yet to be formally indicted, he is being held in custody for allegedly violating Japan's Swords and Firearms Control Law

It was still not known what penalty will be dished out to Collins, or when he would be released from the prison.

Collins' arrest certificate states he was arrested for carrying a 17cm "houcho [kitchen/carving knife] in public `without a valid reason', such as for work purposes.''

If it is classed as a kitchen knife he could face up to two years in prison and a fine of ¥300,000 (NZ$3796).

Collins, a 48-Test All Black and one-time captain, joined Japanese rugby club Yamaha Engines Jubilo in 2011 but announced his resignation to coincide with his contract ending last month.

Sources: TV3 & NZ Herald

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