Hillsong leader’s gang link to wild all-in cafe brawl
TWO men allegedly associated with the Mount Druitt street gang OneFour - including one who is a youth leader at Hillsong Church - have appeared in court charged over a wild fight at a shisha cafe in Sydney's west.
William Papaliitele, 21, and Rekindle Tautalaga, 22, were both charged with affray following the all-in brawl at the Sheeshe and Man'oushe cafe at Auburn on the night of June 18.
Dramatic CCTV footage of the incident shows chairs and tables being thrown as coal embers fly and startled onlookers flee to safety.
The brawl occurred only hours after a separate unrelated fight in the heart of Parramatta's CBD, which was allegedly linked to youth gangs that are increasing in popularity through social media in Western Sydney.
Police allege Tautalaga is a member of OneFour and court documents show Papaliitele has been banned from contacting members of the gang as part of his strict bail conditions.
Tautalaga handed himself into police on Monday before being charged with affray over the Auburn incident and rioting over another brawl at a Mount Druitt hotel on July 10.
He was also charged with participating in a criminal group contributing to criminal activity.
Court documents allege Tautalaga stole three pool cues and unlawfully entered Mount Druitt's Village Hotel when the brawl involving at least 12 people broke out.
Police say two men were stabbed and another was hit by a car in that brawl.
In court this week, Magistrate Stephen Corry was told Tautalaga had his family's support and he had been a youth leader at Hillsong Church.
But the magistrate denied bail, saying the alleged offending was too serious.
"(It involves alleged) offending across Sydney, not just confined to one area but areas used generally by the public where the public would be expected to be coming and going," he said.
"A cafe in the street … a hotel - it (allegedly) involves use of weapons at least in respect to the riot and the acquisition of weapons in respect of the (alleged) offending at Auburn. If convicted, the offender could expect … a custodial sentence."
Tautalaga will return to court on August 22.
Papaliitele, who had previously been granted bail after being charged over the Auburn shisha cafe brawl, appeared this week in Burwood Local Court where his matter was adjourned.
Wearing Nike TN shoes and a Nautica jumper, the thickset 21-year-old was supported by two burly friends in court including one wearing a CFMEU jumper. It is not suggested the CFMEU is connected to the brawl.
The pair's arrests come after a rap group also called OneFour - who are not associated with the gang - recently burst onto Western Sydney's music scene with their single Shanks and Shivs. OneFour's rappers were due to perform at the Oxford Art Factory last week but claimed their show was cancelled due to pressure from NSW Police.
Officers set up Strike Force Imbara to crackdown on street gangs, whose followers are prolific users of social media and post rap battles and fights to YouTube.