Charges dropped against men accused of crude remarks outside Arsenal footballer Mesut Ozil’s Highgate home
- Credit: PA
Two men arrested for allegedly making crude remarks about the mother of Arsenal footballer Mesut Ozil and threatening security guards outside the star’s Highgate home have had the charges dismissed.
Ferhat Ercun and Salaman Ekinci, both 28, were charged with behaving in a threatening or abusive manner outside the multimillion-pound north London property in August last year.
The incident took place on August 8 2019 after the two men had met to walk to Hampstead Heath, passing the German midfielder’s home in Sheldon Avenue several times.
The guards claimed Mr Ercun had sworn in Turkish, made derogatory remarks about their mothers and the mother of Mr Ozil, and threatened to kill them.
Mr Ercun and Mr Ekinci denied the exchange had taken place and said they had been chased and “viciously attacked” by the guards.
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Giving evidence on Tuesday, Mr Ercun said that on the second occasion he had been frightened by the guards’ behaviour and told his friend to run.
He said Mr Ekinci had fallen to the floor and that when he went to help he had been hit with a baseball bat, though this was not proven.
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“I got struck across my left temple with a baseball bat. My first instinct was to cover my head.
“I got battered up my left arm and he swung the bat on to my ribs. If I’d stayed there, I would have got beaten up worse.”
The court previously heard evidence from Kemil Sezer, one of the guards, who said that the security staff did not carry baseball bats for their job.
Mr Ekinci was acquitted at a hearing on August 12 this year and gave evidence on behalf of Mr Ercun on Tuesday.
“I didn’t know (the guards), they didn’t know us,” he said.
“It almost felt like a dream, I couldn’t believe it was happening.
“We’ve been put out in the media like we’re criminals, we’re not. I’ve never been in trouble with the police in my life.”
District Judge Alison Rose said there was little evidence to suggest the guards had been specific targets of any threatening or abusive behaviour and dismissed the charges against Mr Ercun.
Mr Ozil, 31, who helped Germany win the 2014 World Cup, was not present at the hearing.