'I was a little antagonistic' - Dalton on his arrest

James Dalton at a previous court appearance in Pretoria. (File, Netwerk24)
James Dalton at a previous court appearance in Pretoria. (File, Netwerk24)

Cape Town - Former Springbok James Dalton said an argument, and not a crime, resulted in his arrest outside a Sea Point eatery on Thursday.

The retired rugby player appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of assault, reckless or negligent driving, crimen injuria and resisting arrest.

The case was postponed to April 3 for further investigations to take place.

Ahead of his appearance in the dock, Dalton told News24 that "something wasn't lekker" about his arrest.

He said he pulled up outside Jerry's Burger Bar in Sea Point on Thursday night. He was speaking to the owner outside the restaurant when an unmarked car and a police van pulled up alongside him.

The policeman apparently told him that the man in the accompanying vehicle had accused him of bumping into his car and driving off.

"I told him I had never seen this man before and that he could have a walk around my car and see if there was any damage."

Dalton was in a new BMW 420. The driver of the other car apparently conceded his car had not been damaged and drove off.

Dalton said an argument ensued between him and the police officer. It "got out of control" and the officer told him to accompany him to a police station.

He willingly got into the back of the van and was completely sober, Dalton claimed.

At the police station, Dalton said he was "a little antagonistic, but at the same time, so were they".

He was held at Sea Point police station, where he told a sergeant she was "acting a bit of a bitch". She apparently told him his "wife was a fucking bitch".

He said the officers "kept coming in my personal space". When an officer grabbed his arm, he pulled it away. Dalton said that he was denied the opportunity to make a phone call and this forced him to "beg". He spent two nights in custody.

Photo opportunity

When the situation "eventually neutralised", he gave officers money to buy him a cream soda and a packet of wine gums, Dalton said. 

They chatted and apparently took a few photos with him. He was released on R1 500 bail at 14:00 on Saturday afternoon.

This bail was extended at his court appearance on Monday.

Dalton said he found it strange that both he and the civilian had not been directed to the police station to lodge an accident report. He maintained that there had been no accident.

"This has been pulled out of proportion. Totally fabricated," Dalton insisted.

No crime was committed. There was a heated argument where "none of the parties were innocent". 

Police spokesperson Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said a 44-year-old man, who she did not identify as Dalton, was arrested for assault, intimidation, and resisting arrest.

Dalton said he had been told he was arrested for crimen injuria and common assault. He denied any intimidation, adding that at 1.74m and weighing 94kg, he was "hardly a big man". 

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