Wollongong brawl victim awoke ‘drenched in blood’

Reed Harris recalls the events leading up to his assault over the weekend.

It was almost 5am when Reed Harris came to in the back of a taxi bound for his Port Kembla home.

His head hurt and he couldn’t remember how he had gotten into the cab.

There had been a scuffle on the street, he recalled – with a player he recognised from St George Illawarra Dragons, Siliva Havili. 

As the cab wound through Wollongong, Mr Harris looked down at himself and saw his shirt was sodden and red. 

“I was covered in blood; like fully just drenched in blood,” he said. 

“I went home and had a shower. Later I got my sister-in-law to take me to the hospital.” 

Mr Harris and his brother Deejay, 21, had earlier been inside Atchison Street’s popular late night haunt, Fever Nightclub.

Blood on the footpath near Fever nightclub on Monday morning.

Blood on the footpath near Fever nightclub on Monday morning.

They say they witnessed a “scuffle” involving their friends and a group of men that included Dragons players Havili (23), Tim Lafai (25) and Dunamis Lui (26).

“Things like this can't really happen, especially from professional sportspeople.”

Security staff broke the groups apart.

Mr Harris claims Havili later deliberately “shoulder barged” him on the street outside, instigating a scuffle between the pair.

He remembers walking away … then waking up in the taxi. His understanding of what happened in the missing minutes comes from his brother.

Deejay Harris claims he saw Havili jog across the street and land a surprise punch to 26-year-old Mr Harris’ head.

Mr Harris’ skull connected with the curb as he hit the ground, causing a serious gash above his left eye.

“I tried to pick him up to see if he's alright. He wouldn't get up,” Deejay said. 

“I picked him up underneath his arms and he was just sort of dangling there.

“I’m not sure if someone else helped me get him into the taxi.”

Mr Harris spent five hours in Wollongong Hospital’s emergency department and worked throughout Monday. By that afternoon, he had yet to report the matter to police.

“I intend to [report it] because, if it was a normal fight and this happened, you know that's just the way things go sometimes. 

“But with all the coward punching going on, consequences have to be made. 

Deejay Harris speaks to the Mercury about the assault on his brother over the weekend.

“From what I got told, I didn't see it coming. 

“Things like this can't really happen, especially from professional sportspeople.” 

Havili and Lafai were arrested in Crown Street Mall about 5am after the city’s CCTV cameras allegedly captured them fighting with three men outside 7-11, in a conflict not linked to the Harris brothers’ experience.

They have each been charged with affray and offensive behaviour and will appear before Wollongong Local Court September 6. 

Reed Harris and his brother Deejay. Photo: Adam McLean

Reed Harris and his brother Deejay. Photo: Adam McLean

Dragons players charged after drunken Wollongong brawl

The NRL Integrity Unit has been notified of a drunken brawl involving at least two St George Illawarra Dragons players in the early hours of Sunday morning. 

Siliva Havili and Tim Lafai have been charged with affray and offensive behaviour and ordered to appear before court September 6.

Police were called to a brawl near the intersection of Crown and Atchison Streets shortly before 5am Sunday, but arrived to find it had dispersed.

Havili and Lafai were stopped nearby and given a move-along direction.

The pair was allegedly involved in an altercation with a group of males on Crown Street at short time later.

They were initially issued infringement notices, but were charged on Monday after police viewed CCTV footage.

The Dragons were made aware of an incident involving “certain contracted players” on Monday, a club spokesman said. “The Club and individuals concerned are cooperating with Police with their enquiries.”