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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jerry Collins claims physical threat from gang following Japan arrest

Former All Blacks hardman Jerry Collins has been held by Japanese police since March 17th following his arrest for carrying knives into a department store in Hamamatsu, Japan. It has since emerged that he felt he was under threat from a Brazilian gang.

In a bizarre and unfortunate turn of events, Collins walked into an upmarket department store, laid two 17cm knives down on the counter, and waited for police to arrest him. Over twenty arrived after the first police officer reportedly saw how big Collins was, and called for backup.

"They just walked him out of the shop normally, but there were 30 police surrounding him so it created a big scene," said the store manager, who added that Collins went peacefully.

The 32 year-old All Black star, who has been playing rugby for Yamaha Jubilo club, has been detained at the local police station. A few days back he was visited by New Zealand TV show Campbell Live, who were able to get inside and have a brief chat with him.

He told the show that he feared for his life after he was being chased by a gang that reportedly disliked foreign rugby players being in their city, dating back to before Collins even arrived. He also said that he was extremely relieved to have been arrested.

While there has been speculation that his behaviour resembled that of someone dabbling in drug usage, he denied that claim and said that he has been tested and came out clean.

In Japan it is illegal to carry knives bigger than 15cm without police permission, so he could face up to two years in prison and a fine, or if classified as a sword/s, he could face up to three years.

His lawyer aims to dispute all potential charges and arrived in Japan with letters and character references from the New Zealand Rugby Union, family, friends, churches, and community leaders.

"Just to identify for the authorities that this man, who is of course so well known as an All Black, also has so many other qualities, has provided so much to the community, to young people," lawyer Tim Castle, who aims to have Collins freed from custody this week, said "It's important that the authorities who may not know these things receive that kind of information."

In Japan police can hold suspects for up to 23 days without charge. Collins' contract with his club is due to expire on March 31, and they have said that they know nothing of his fears or mental state.

Below is the complete video report from Cambell Live on 3 News New Zealand

UPDATE: Collins has been released and fined Y150,000 (NZ$1900)

"The authorities in Japan have accepted that this was a minor indiscretion, and that there were extenuating circumstances for the possession, and that there was neither sinister nor threatening purpose," said his lawyer, Tim Castle, who flew to Japan to oversee his release.

Time: 12:23
Credit: 3 News NZ

Posted by Rugbydump at 2:06 pm | View Comments (27)

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Posted in See it to Believe it

Viewing 27 comments

Daniel Sleath March 26, 2013 5:10 pm

Why does he need knives when he carries two of the biggest guns in rugby?

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H_Ian_M March 26, 2013 5:19 pm

This is pretty suspicious. If he was being chased by a gang, why didn't he go straight to the police, or to his club. Instead, he either has time to go and collect/buy two large knives and then head to a store, or he's already carrying the knives as standard procedure (in which case he's definitely guilty).

I love JC as a player and an ambassador for the game (that time he played for the local team in England was quality), I will be happily surprised if drugs were not involved here somehow.

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Lyla June 06, 2015 11:15 am


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stroudos March 26, 2013 5:52 pm

Shocking. Jerry Collins is only 32?? Can't believe it, seems like he's been around for decades.

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Hayeder March 26, 2013 7:04 pm

It's not April 1st in Japan, is it?

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Colombes March 26, 2013 7:25 pm

Very weird events.....
I didn't know JC as a fragile block (like someone said above)
Too soon to make any conclusions in this affair

The last rugbymen police problems, it was because some alcool excess (Care, Phillips, Bastareaud, Guilford, Powell...)
More dramatically, Marc Cecillon (former french player) shooted his wife after years of aloolism...

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macmurchu March 26, 2013 7:42 pm

Have to love the toughness of the Japanese police, just like in Jackass when Party Boy started acting the maggot

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BoliMiKura March 26, 2013 9:04 pm

Can someone explain why a BRAZILIAN gang gives two hoots about foreign rugby players in Japan? What do the brazilians have to do with this?

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Hemi March 26, 2013 10:58 pm

There's a sizable Brazilian population in Japan:

One of the theories doing the rounds is that it was a Brazilian gangs that was picking on foreign rugby players as 'easy pickings' for a bit of extortion. But, as has been pointed out on a NZ-based blog site by a few kiwis familiar with the Japanese scene, the whole thing sounds 'implausible'...

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brawnybalboa March 27, 2013 5:28 pm

That article really says bugger all about Jerry Collins and the alleged Brailizian gang. It just talks about the semi legalisation of the Yakuza. Collins however has now paid a fine and been released. There must be something behind it all as I cannot see someone intentionally getting arrested in that manner for no reason (assuming no Psychosis).

Personally I have always wondered about the safety of professional sports players compared to politicians and celebrities who have sizeable security parties, most sportsmen tend to go about their every day life in public without protection. It has been reported in the past how a football player (Giovanni Moreno) was threatened at gunpoint by a fan threatening to kill him if he played poorly, an american football player (Sean Taylor) got killed by a gang he refused to have contact with. Although these are isolated events, sometimes I feel professional sportsmen are vulnerable to high level organised crime

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browner March 27, 2013 9:03 pm

Hey Brawny, what's a Brail-izian gang ? , do they rub their fingers over you until you give them your cash !

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The KorOcle March 27, 2013 7:09 pm

The blog actually says the story is NOT it's possible.

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Hendogo March 26, 2013 11:57 pm

Sounds a little fishy to me. He couldn't just go to the police and request help? Why would you risk jail time just to get help. Drugs seem to be the answer here, or just stupidity.

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Canadian content March 27, 2013 1:34 am

Always really liked JC, hard player but fair. Remember reading about him playing for a welsh club side on a whim, really impressed with his humble ways.

I worked in mental health for a couple of years and have witnessed a number of people deal with mental health breakdowns and I have to say, that's what appears to have happened here. The mysterious gang? Carrying knives? Feeling relieved to have been arrested and in custody? The profuse sweating and unstability? The fact he's still been hanging around without a contract? It all points to some sort of psychosis for sure.

Too bad, I hope JC gets the help he needs.

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Stuff like this does March 27, 2013 6:32 am

Trust me, he's not psychotic. I personally know Jerry and also work in mental health. He was in correspondence with family right after he was literally chased on foot by what he believed to be Brazilians. There is definitely alot of 'shonky' Brazilians in Japan.

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DanKnapp March 27, 2013 7:42 am

It was Barnstaple. He then appeared for the Baa-Baas, wearing Barnstaple club socks. You can see a shoddy recording of an interview done at the time here:

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Andinov March 27, 2013 3:14 am

Agree completely with Canadian Content.

Paranoid schizophrenia could certainly explain all of the above

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Guy March 27, 2013 9:38 am

April Fools Day, anyone?!

Don't believe a word of it, looks like a complete spoof.

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Wheato March 27, 2013 2:30 pm

This reporter surely must have modelled himself on Ron Burgandy.
Worth moving to NZ to get some more of his work I think.

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CDFK March 27, 2013 3:51 pm

Did anyone find this journalist unbearably annoying? I was very interested in this story, and I had to fight through watching this because that journalist was so irritating.

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Facepalm March 27, 2013 6:38 pm

Until you know exactly what has happened, I'd be pretty careful about labelling him a criminal/ a junkie/ psychotic.

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browner March 27, 2013 8:57 pm

Firstly, it wasn't knives ...... JC was in possession of another offensive haircut

Secondly, My girlfriend has has some prickly experiences with a nasty Brazilian in the last week , but she hasn't opened up for the media to cast their eye over her private affairs

Ruggarbestwishes2u JC

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DrG March 29, 2013 7:27 pm

Very strange.

Admittedly, and it is very wrong of me to assume, it sounded like he somewhat lost his marbles...

Very worrying, and I hope if he is in danger (from a gang) then he is helped out, or if he has got a screw thats worked its way loose that it then gets tightened up again.

Best wishes and goodluck JC

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Lilmsrocker May 01, 2013 12:10 pm

Athletes being hated on for whatever nothing new!.......Neither are disrespectful some of those above.......You only need to know one personally or have a family is an athlete who finds themselves in a life threatening situation as Jerry take it as serious as it actually is....I know JC VERY WELL....there is NO
Paranoid schizophrenia...There are NO Loose Screws......There were NO Drugs....Nor is he a stupid man...I take offense to the comments above.....As he has been a hard working man and loyal to his chosen career....For everyone to doubt him 1st, right off the bat......shows a lack of empathy, and total disregard to the truth......Easier to believe he is a nutter than to think some Brazilian Bully could do any wrong eh?...Well ya know what?.....You cant keep a GOOD MAN DOWN.....He'll be back!....and for the rest of you....You have no idea what road you would take if you were out numbered by men hunting you down with knives....over something as pathetic as a "SPORT".....Human Beings like that should be Feared far and wide!....No One is safe with the likes of that walking amongst us!........Know That!....When Jerry is ready........MAYBE you will hear what happened from his own mouth.....until then, it might not hurt to Shut Yours!

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