A man who ran shirtless onto the ground during an AFL game in Perth and seemingly tried to wriggle free of his pants as guards dragged him away has been fined $8000.
Jesse Hayen, 28 jumped the fence and attempted to evade guards during the final minutes of last week’s clash between Geelong and Collingwood at Optus Stadium, breaching a coronavirus quarantine zone.
He was tackled near the 50 metre line before he could reach the players or umpires and was removed from the stadium, where more than 22,000 spectators had gathered, spaced out in the 60,000-capacity venue.
The 28-year-old was charged with failing to comply with a direction under WA’s Emergency Management Act, which was amended in response to COVID-19, and was fined in Perth Magistrates Court on Friday.
The concreter was lashed by the magistrate, who labelled his actions ‘stupid’.
Hayen is returning to his Victorian home after his employer sacked him over the stunt.
The maximum penalty for the charge is $50,000 or 12 months’ imprisonment.
The day after his would-be streaking effort, Hayen posed shirtless for Seven News, saying he ‘didn’t even think about’ the quarantine zone or know the penalty could be so high, despite warnings on big screens at the stadium.
‘I guess it is pretty funny but yeah, nah I feel like a bit of a goose,’ he said.
‘It was something that I’ve always wanted to do just ‘cos of the fear factor, I guess, yeah.’
He suggested he may do it again.
‘It definitely won’t be the last time the pitch invader’s in action.’
Health Minister Roger Cook, who was at the match, called Hayen a ‘mug’ and labelled his behaviour ‘pathetic’.
A crowd-funding effort dubbed ‘Pitch in for The Pitch Invader’ only raised $350.
Under new COVID-19 regulations the AFL has increased penalties for anyone who invades the field.
The pitch is considered a quarantine zone and anyone who enters could potentially face prison time.
Fans aren’t even allowed into the two front rows to reduce contact with players.
AFL fan Danielle Dodson labelled the streaker as a ‘w**ker’ after watching the match.
‘He jumped the fence at the 50m mark and got flattened by four security guards,’ she told the West.
She said he ‘didn’t get close to any players’.
Others called him a ‘fool’ and a ‘peanut’ online.