CROCKED Crystal Palace star Jason Puncheon will stand trial after allegedly assaulting a nightclub bouncer with his belt buckle during a street brawl.
The Premier League star was arrested on December 17 after allegedly getting embroiled in a fight between two girls.
Puncheon, 31, arrived at Guildford Magistrates’ Court in Surrey on crutches this morning after he suffered a serious knee-ligament injury in a clash against Man City.
He is accused of swinging his belt at the back of the bouncer’s head and now faces a one-day trial on June 4 after denying causing fear or provocation of violence, and common assault.
A third charge of possession of an offensive weapon was withdrawn by the prosecution.
Gary Bloxsome, defending, told the court Puncheon was targeted by someone inside the club earlier that night.
Prosecutor Darren Matrovers told the court the alleged bust-up took place at Mishiko in Reigate, Surrey.
He said: “A report to the police was made to police by [the club’s] CCTV operators about a fight breaking out outside their club.”
Mr Bloxsome said the football ace did have his belt in his hands at the time, but claimed that his client did not carry out an assault
Surrey Police said: “Jason Puncheon has been charged with a section 4 public order offence — causing fear or provocation of violence and common assault.
“He has been released on bail to appear at Guildford magistrates’ court.”
Puncheon grew up in Croydon, South London, and was announced as first team captain for his local side at the start of the season.
He will miss the rest of the season after being injured in a late tackle on Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne during Sunday’s 0-0 draw.
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A spokesman for Mishiko said: “We can confirm that Jason Puncheon attended the venue with friends.
“After the venue’s closing hours, door staff were alerted to an altercation approximately 50 metres from the venue to which they intervened as a duty of care.
“Surrey Police were prompt to attend and made necessary enquiries. The venue cannot confirm if any arrests were made or names of persons involved.”
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