"All of a sudden six police cars pulled up and absolutely tore the place apart. Girls being tackled, guys trying to explain themselves in the face of batons."
A melee involving police, security guards, and patrons erupted on Sunday evening at the Bondi Hotel, situated on the world famous Bondi Beach, after drinkers refused to stop singing.
Up to "six police cars" arrived according to eyewitnesses when drinkers, many of whom were foreign tourists, refused to stop singing the DJ Otzi classic, "Hey Baby."
We spoke to Joshua Duffy who reported the raid via Facebook. As he explained: "We were in the beer garden and this bloke had just driven down from the Gold Coast and wanted to go to karaoke. We said, why don't we just do it here, and we started singing, (Ben E. King's) "Stand By Me" at the table, then a couple of other tables joined in, then everyone was singing. People were hugging each other. I've never seen the Bondi Hotel like that. It was amazing," he says.
But security objected to the singing, asking for it to stop. Duffy and his table agreed but the bemused foreigners on the table next to them did not. The song changed to DJ Otzi's "Hey Baby" and chorused around the beer garden, prompting security to call in the police. "Six cars arrived," says Duffy,
"They came in waving batons in our faces. It was actually a joke, like, wow, how much more ridiculous can this bullshit get," he says. As the singing continued, police and security attempted to remove patrons resulting in a melee. Duffy witnessed a woman pushed to ground and hit her head along with several arrests. Two men were left handcuffed on the ground, one of whom was the woman's boyfriend.
Neither the Bondi Hotel nor local police would comment. "I can't make comment. I can't given any information to you. That's just our policy," said the Waverley Police Station representative.
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