Have you ever been so mad at someone in the lineup you imagined dunking their head underwater? Repeatedly? What if the victim was a middle-aged woman? Could you possibly get that worked up?
A Lennox Head man (allegedly) did this week. And he's facing police charges. Details are sparse. All we know is this: witnesses report the man, a 56-year-old surfer and mat rider, became enraged at the 54-year-old female surfer after the two got tangled up on a wave.
For reasons only he'd know, he then pushed her head underwater over and over and over again. Eventually, the woman went limp to fool her attacker, and he released her. Apparently, somebody filmed the incident from the water too, though, no footage has surfaced.
Lennox is a crowded playground, with many people on many kinds of surf toys all trying to share the same sandbox. Probably shouldn't have to court death by murder to surf there.
According to news reports, the woman held underwater was former world #2 and Western Australia native Jodie Cooper. Cooper was a terrific surfer in heavy waves and not one to be trifled with.
“‘I’m not a wilting flower,” she told an Aussie paper. “I was brought up to be a strong person and I will stand up for myself and I always will…This character, he didn’t follow the rules, he dropped in on me. If you don’t follow rules it’s like driving up the right side of the freeway and saying ‘eff you.'”
Her alleged assailant was a local man named Mark Thompson. He denies the charges that he forcefully dunked Cooper, instead insisting that the two merely became entangled after colliding on a wave. Thompson is due in court to face the accusations next month.