Suntory Sungoliath and Queensland Reds flanker George Smith has been arrested in Fuchu, Tokyo for theft and assault after he fled from a taxi on New Year's Eve, assaulting the taxi driver in the process.
The incident happened at 00:10 on December 31st 2017 close to Smith’s apartment in Fuchu, where his Top League side Suntory Sungoliath are based. He did not pay the 10,000 yen taxi fare as he escaped from the vehicle and struck the face and chest of the 58-year-old taxi driver. The degree of the injuries sustained by the taxi driver is unknown.
According to Fuchu police department, Smith had been drinking in central Tokyo that evening and “could not recall the incident as I was drunk”, and denies the allegations.
Smith, who was due to travel to Australia in the coming weeks to join up with Reds for the 2018 Super Rugby side, could see his Suntory Sungoliath contract dissolved as a result. He could also be deported from Japan and banned from entering the country for 3-5 years if the taxi driver pursues charges against the 37-year-old.