Six soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland who had travelled to the United States on a rugby tour that included a friendly match against a New York police team have been charged with assault after they allegedly punched an off-duty police officer to the floor in a pub brawl.
The New York police department (NYPD) said that the rugby match had been cancelled due to a “player shortage”. The six, all of whom are from Fiji but are based with the regiment in Edinburgh, have been released from detention in Rikers Island prison, the NYPD said, though they still face prosecution and possible discharge from the army if their actions are deemed to merit disciplinary action.
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Following the incident, in the early hours of Friday in the 17th precinct of Manhattan, the six soldiers were arrested and brought before a judge. Lance Corporal Iosefo Yavala, 33, was charged with robbery and assault after he was allegedly found in the possession of the police officer’s mobile phone.