Newcastle Pro Surfer Assessed For Brain Damage After Assault
Jake Sylvester, a two-time pro junior winner and former Australasian Pro Junior champ, is being assessed for suspected brain damage following a one-punch assault in Newcastle last night.
After being ejected from Steel Street Hotel, it’s believed that a scuffle broke out on a footpath at 11:25pm, during which a 22-year-old from Mayfield allegedly knocked Jake unconscious, leaving him with a fractured skull, in what police are calling an unprovoked attack. The Mayfield man presented himself to Waratah police station today and was charged with recklessly inflict grievous bodily harm.
Jake’s father, Kim, said that the fracture had occurred when Jake hit the ground. While he had regained consciousness and was walking and talking, his father is concerned. “I can feel he is not perfect,” said Mr Sylvester. “He’s just not Jake. (Last night) We were told it looked pretty bad, he was unconscious and in a pool of blood. One of his best mates stayed with him on the way to hospital and we are grateful for that. It is going to be a worry for a while. It has done something you don’t want done to your head. The bone will heal, but it is the damage we are worried about.”
Jake is a wildly talented surfer and extremely nice gent. The attack occurred while he was out celebrating after competing in the SurfAid Cup, a charity event which is part of Surfest. Sadly, he’s just the latest victim of Australia’s (ongoing) alcohol-fuelled violence problem; the controversial lockout laws that were enacted in Sydney following two separate deaths caused by similar one-punch attacks, were actually first trialled in Newcastle, where Jake hails from and was assaulted last night.
Stab sincerely wishes Jakey a full and speedy recovery.
While this clip is five years old now, it'll certainly give you an idea of how handy Jake is on a craft: