Anna Caldwell IN NEW YORK
The Daily Telegraph
October 19 2015
DISGRACED NRL player Matthew Lodge was found cowering in the bedroom closet of the New York apartment he allegedly barged into after stalking frightened women into the home, punching the man who lived there and then pegging a bottle of wine at police.
It is now known that the women Lodge allegedly stalked were buzzing apartment buildings along the Upper West Side’s upmarket West End Avenue in a bid to find someone who would let them inside to escape the NRL player, who told them “this is the night that you die”.
Fresh detail has emerged of the night including how Lodge allegedly punched the male resident who responded to the women’s request for help by letting them inside.
Police allege Lodge then locked the man in the corridor while proceeding to trash the apartment with the man’s wife and son trapped inside.
Lodge — who has been sacked by the West Tigers — was last night locked up in New York’s Robert N Davoren prison, near the infamous Rikers Island complex awaiting a court date on Thursday Australian time.
Authorities require a $US20,000 cash bail or a $US30,000 bond for his release, with Lodge’s father last night en route to the US.
Lodge was staying with friends at a swanky Upper West Side hotel, situated in a family-friendly area of Manhattan not known for its party scene.
However it is understood the group pestered anyone they came into contact with on arrival as to where they could go to party that night.
“All they wanted to know from the moment they got here was where are the parties where are the parties,” one local said.
It was about 10pm that the women were frantically buzzing apartments on West End Avenue to be let in so they could escape Lodge.
After one man came to their assistance, Lodge followed the women inside.
NYPD Sergent Brendan Ryan said when Lodge was asked to leave the apartment he punched the complainant.
“The complainant tried to remove him from his apartment and he was punched with a closed fist,” Sgt Ryan said.
He said the altercation spilled out to the hallway.
“The suspect re-entered the apartment, closed and locked the door with the complainant and victim locked outside … His wife and son were locked inside,” Sgt Ryan said.
While inside, Lodge allegedly broke items in the apartment.
Sgt Ryan said police then arrived, with Lodge allegedly throwing a bottle of wine at them but missing.
“(He then) retreated into the apartment where he was found hiding inside one of the bedroom closets,” Sgt Ryan said.
Lodge was then taken into custody and charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass, assault and menacing.
He was then given arraignment charges of burglary.
As of last night, the bond had not been paid and Lodge was being represented by Legal Aid.
The most serious of the offences Lodge has been charged with are classified as level B felonies — the second most serious class of offence in a scale that ranges down to level E, and punishable by jail time.