Former Pro Surfer, Jodie Cooper, Feigned Drowning To Escape Her Assailant In 2018
Mark Thomson has his day in court and claims the assault was ‘maritime collision,’ pleads ‘not guilty.’
More details about the assault on former professional surfer, Jodie Cooper, emerged yesterday as she face her alleged assailant in a Ballina Court Room.
The episode in question took place in September of 2018, when Cooper was attacked by a man while surfing a crowded day at Lennox Heads. According to Cooper, she was set upon by a man who held her underwater until she was forced to feign drowning in order to escape the attack.
We’ve now learned that the attacker was none other than Mark Thomson, father of Australian shaper Daniel ‘Tomo’ Thomson.
Thomson reportedly burned Cooper while riding a surf mat, then took offense at being called out on said act and set upon her.
When confronted by police Thomson claimed that it was a “maritime collision,” thus making it “a matter for maritime services.” Unfortunately for Thomson, video exists of the incident and that particular defense more closely resembles Sovereign Citizen mumbo-jumbo than any sort of actual legal argument.
Thomson has pled not guilty to the charges.
It’s now up to the courts to determine culpability. But one thing is certain.
If you’re out riding a blow-up pool toy and fighting people, it’s probably time to take a long hard look at yourself.
Former champion surfer Jodie Cooper, who was allegedly held under water during a surf rage attack by surfboard shaper Mark Thomson, pretended to drown as she feared for her life, a court has heard.
Ms Cooper, 54, was surfing at Lennox Head on August 22 last year with a crowd of about 100 when she took off on a wave and was cut off by Mr Thomson riding a surf mat, police say.
“He was dropping in on me, nearly on top of me. He was aggressively cutting back into me and felt like trying to provoke me off the wave,” Ms Cooper, who was a stunt double in the cult 1991 film Point Break, said.
Mr Thomson then allegedly grabbed Ms Cooper, and held her head under the water.
“He had reached around and grabbed me and pushed me under the water. He just grabbed me with two hands and just forced me under the water,” she told Ballina Local Court on Friday.
“It was like he was standing on top of me and as he was doing that he was pulling my hair.”
She said she was terrified by the 54-year-old, the court heard, and decided to pretend she had drowned to stop the alleged attack.
“Why don’t I just pretend that I drowned? … When I went limp thinking I was dead or drowned or something, that’s when he released,” she told the court.
Mr Thomson allegedly said he thought she was a man when she confronted him about the attack, and asked, “Don’t you know who I am?”
Mr Thomson is the father of well-known surfboard shaper Damien Thomson, and manufactures surf mats on the North Coast.
“I said I’ll see you at the cop shop,” Ms Cooper replied, the court heard.
Ms Cooper reported the incident two weeks after the alleged attack, prompted by a whiplash-like pain in her hand.
“I was fearful, I was in shock, I really just wanted to crawl up into a ball and not deal with it,” she said when asked why she did not report it on the day.
“I was ashamed. I’ve been bitten by a shark … I just thought I’ll be strong enough to deal with this and forget about it.”
Police say they have footage of the incident, and that, when they went to interview Mr Thomson about it, he said it was a “maritime collision”.
“Seems like a load of gossip really,” he said in a police body camera video tendered in court on Friday.
Mr Thomson has plead not guilty to one count of assault and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The matter has been adjourned until July 18.
In the 1990s, Ms Cooper made headlines in a reported altercation in the surf with American pro-surfer Johnny Boy Gomes.
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