‘I just can’t believe I’m here’: Betts opens up on infamous arrest

AFL great Eddie Betts has opened up on his infamous late-night arrest in 2009 in his autobiography, saying he believed he was targeted by “power-tripping” police.

Betts spent several hours in a Melbourne CBD lock-up after being arrested for “drunk and disorderly behaviour” as a 23-year-old, following his fifth season with Carlton.

Eddie Betts says he believed police were “power-tripping” at the time of his arrest in 2009.Credit:Getty Images

He was painted as a “bad boy” following the incident just before Christmas in 2009, and was eventually suspended by the Blues, but Betts has revealed in The Boy From Boomerang Crescent how unjust he felt the situation was.

Betts explained he had been waiting for Carlton teammate Chris Yarran to leave a nightclub so they could catch a taxi home together.

“I kept looking at the stairwell to see if he [Yarran] was coming – and the police officers kept looking at me,” he wrote.

“I knew they were there, and I knew I wasn’t doing anything, but eventually three coppers came over to me.”

Betts said the police officers asked him what he did for a job, but he refused to say, before one of them queried his contract status with the Blues.

“Next thing, one of them said something like, ‘this is going to ruin your career. You’re about to sign a contract, aren’t you? Well, not now’.

“It was f—ed up and I felt like they were power-tripping.”

Betts admitted he was drunk, but so were the “couple hundred” people also waiting outside the club.

“I wasn’t scared,” Betts wrote.

“I’d been around cops in the past – I knew this entire thing was just bullshit.

“The thought that kept revolving around my head was, ‘I just can’t believe I’m here’.”

Despite feeling despondent about his interaction with police, Betts has described the incident as a turning point in his life and his AFL career, vowing from then to always be home by 1am.

The Indigenous icon also highlighted another incident with police that left him shaken.

After winning the first of his four AFL goal-of-the-year awards in 2006, Betts’ prize was a new car.

One day while eating a sandwich, Betts was told by police to step out of his beloved Toyota Aurion and then asked numerous times by officers if he was actually the owner of the vehicle.

“Finally, one of them checked all my details and after that, they arrogantly got back in their own car and left,” Betts wrote.

“I probably could have gotten more upset and indignant about that incident at the time – but for any Blackfulla sitting in a shiny, expensive new car, sadly that scenario is all too common.”

Betts’ memoirs, released last week, have prompted a renewed focus on Adelaide’s infamous 2018 pre-season camp.

After writing about his “disrespectful” and “traumatic” experience, fellow former Crows players Josh Jenkins and Bryce Gribbs backed up Betts’ accounts of the club’s doomed trip to the Gold Coast.


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