Australian news agencies are reporting that four-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore was assaulted in front of her Tweed Heads home by a man with a pipe around 9 pm on Monday night. Gilmore, 22, reportedly suffered a broken left wrist as a result of the assault and will be out of the water for six weeks, but is otherwise in good physical health. Gilmore has issued the following statement about the assault on the ASP website:
"There was an incident in which I was attacked at my property," Gilmore said. "It was a completely random act in which I was a victim in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is now a matter for the court. I have sought medical attention and am on my road to recovery in high spirits. I look forward to getting back in the water in six weeks. In the mean time, I'm staying mentally and physically fit every way I can. I have fantastic support from my family and friends and look forward to resting up for a fresh start in the New Year."
In a quote to the Courier-Mail, Gilmore said that “It’s just a little scratch on the head and a fractured wrist … [I’m] OK and hopefully on the way to recovery.”
The man who assaulted Gilmore is currently in police custody and has been charged with “wounding and intent to cause grevious bodily harm” and has been denied bail. Said to be homeless by the Australian press, the man’s name has yet to be released to the public.
Although many of the details of the attack are not yet known, according to numerous reports, Gilmore was assaulted with a pipe and a block of wood in front of her apartment building. A scuffle ensued and Gilmore’s screams alerted her aunt who arrived during the assault and caused the attacker to flee the scene. Remarkably, the attacker later returned where neighbors seized the man in a citizen’s arrest until police arrived.
The Australian is reporting that the assaulter will be remanded until he goes before the court on January 10.
This is a developing story and SURFER will continue to bring you updates as they become available.