Stewart arrested, but then cleared over altercation
MANLY fullback Brett Stewart was cleared of any wrongdoing after being arrested following an altercation on the northern beaches.
Club officials confirmed on Monday that the 27-year-old NSW fullback was arrested over the incident back on January 19, but was not charged.
A police spokeswoman confirmed that the altercation took place at about 1.15am on Saturday, January 19 at The Corso in Manly.
''Officers were told an altercation occurred between two men age 21 and 27,'' she said. ''The 27-year old man was arrested and taken to Manly police station where he was released pending a further investigation.''
The investigation into the incident has concluded - no charges were laid.
Manly released a statement on Monday night to clarify the events that took place on the night.
''Brett Stewart was subjected to verbal harassment by an intoxicated patron at a venue in Manly,'' the statement said.
''The patron had already been asked to leave the venue earlier that night and re-entered the premises through a side door. The patron was asked to leave a second time.
''When Brett Stewart left the venue at a later stage he was asked by Manly Police to attend the police station whilst they investigated the matter. Manly Police then advised Brett that they would review CCTV footage, which could take some time, and suggested Brett go home.
''The following day Manly Police contacted Brett to advise him that the statement had been retracted, as the footage demonstrated no wrongdoing by Brett. Brett followed protocol and informed the club immediately after the incident. The club subsequently conducted an internal inquiry and has similarly cleared Brett of any wrongdoing.''
The police said they issued an infringement notice to the 21-year-old for an ''excluded person return to licensed premises", with instructions not to return to The Corso.
Stewart played in the second half of last Friday night's trial against Cronulla at Brookvale Oval.
Meanwhile, Brett's brother Glenn Stewart was on Monday ruled out of the Sea Eagles' first six rounds of the season.
The back-rower underwent surgery last Friday on a knee injury he suffered at training the day before.
It's an injury that has plagued Stewart for some time, requiring off-season surgery at the end of last year to clean up some cartilage in the troublesome joint.
Stewart underwent a similar procedure at the end of 2011.
While disappointed, coach Geoff Toovey believes the Sea Eagles have the depth to cover for Stewart, which includes Jamie Buhrer and Justin Horo.
''It's disappointing news for us but we have plenty of talent and it will provide an opportunity for someone to step up and fill his role while he's out,'' Toovey said.