22 March 2024

Crowd safety worker denies assaulting three patrons at Summernats 2024

| Albert McKnight
Fogasavaii Matailupevao Pelepesite Pagaialii

Fogasavaii Matailupevao Pelepesite Pagaialii, 30, has entered not guilty pleas to his charges. Photo: Albert McKnight.

One of the two crowd safety workers accused of bashing patrons at Summernats 36 earlier this year, in an incident filmed and widely shared on social media, will fight the allegations against him.

Fogasavaii Matailupevao Pelepesite Pagaialii, 30, is accused of assaulting and threatening to kill three men at the event on 6 January 2024.

An alleged brawl took place during the festival at Exhibition Park between attendees and staff who wore pink vests carrying the words ‘crowd safety’.

ACT Policing have previously said a group of men entered the Summernats’ ‘cruise route’ – a vehicle-only area – on foot at about 4:35 pm on 6 January before they were confronted by security and crowd safety staff.

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It is alleged Mr Pelepesite, from Banks, and a second crowd safety worker, a 33-year-old from Chifley, then assaulted a number of patrons.

Police also previously said a number of people had serious injuries after the alleged assaults, including swelling on the brain, severe concussion and permanent scarring to the face.

Mr Pelepesite appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday (21 March) to face his charges – one count of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm, two counts of recklessly inflicting actual bodily harm and three counts of making a threat to kill.

Lawyer Kiki Kyriacou said his client would plead not guilty to all charges.

The prosecutor asked for a 10-week adjournment before proceeding. The matter was adjourned to 29 May.

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The 33-year-old also faced the court where he did not enter a plea to his charge of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm. His matter was adjourned to April.

“Investigations into the assaults at Summernats 2024 remain ongoing, and further arrests are anticipated,” a police spokesperson said earlier this month.

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