Paul Algar Attacked In New Zealand

January 22, 2007

Wellingon, NZ

with picture of Paul

Crowbar attack on softballer

The Dominion Post | Tuesday, 23 January 2007
CRAIG SIMCOX/Dominion Post

UNEVEN MATCH: Former Black Sox pitcher Paul Algar tried to defend himself with a stick as a man attacked him with a crowbar after a dispute over a pool table.

Former champion Black Sox pitcher Paul Algar tried in vain to dodge blows from a crowbar-wielding attacker who set upon him after a dispute over a pool table.


Algar, a member of the 2000 World Series-winning team who now plays in the United States, is recovering in Wellington Hospital with a fractured skull and severe cuts and bruising to his head.

He needed brain surgery after the brutal attack in Titahi Bay early on Saturday.

Despite his injuries, Mr Algar, 42, is already looking forward to resuming his softball career and will not let the attack ruin his view of his homeland.

Algar plays and coaches softball in Wisconsin and was back in New Zealand for Christmas to see family in Porirua.

He went to the Mariner bar for a "few nightcappers" last Friday night.

A man playing pool had asked him to watch the table and became angry and abusive when he returned to find others using it, Algar said.


"He just kept on being an idiot, calling me names. Childish stuff really."

The man went away and about 2am Algar decided to leave, as he was planning a dive trip with friends later that day.

As he left the tavern, he spotted the man and, concerned for his safety, pointed him out to a bouncer.

"He obviously heard that and popped his boot and grabbed a crowbar."

Algar said he panicked and tried to grab a stick to protect himself as the man approached - and began beating him with the crowbar.

"I do remember trying to get away from the blows."

Algar collapsed and remembered nothing till he woke up in hospital.

Witnesses told police that after Algar fell to the ground, the man struck him several times with the crowbar then jumped on him and punched him.

The man stopped only after an onlooker yelled at him.

The attacker, who was seen driving away, is described as Maori, aged 35 to 40, about 1.8 metres tall, with black dreadlocks and a distinctive tattoo around his neck.

He was wearing dark jeans and a top and a necklace.

The man was seen drinking in the Mariner earlier on Friday and police want to hear from anyone who may have seen him.

Algar said he expected to make a complete recovery and to resume playing and coaching within a few months.

Though he was unsure what had prompted the violent attack, Algar would not let it sour his view of New Zealand. "You can't judge everyone on something little like this."