A West Australian journalist has described how he was drugged and robbed while in New York to cover the efforts of former West Coast coach John Worsfold in the New York Marathon.
Steve Butler had been in the US on behalf of the paper for the past week, providing coverage for the newspaper and the Seven Network on Worsfold’s punishing run.
After breaking the story about the ex-Eagles champion’s post-race collapse, Mr Butler socialised with Mr Worsfold and other friends before heading back to his hotel on Seventh Avenue.
“I got followed by a woman initially, and then I went to a cafe and had a sandwich and a Sprite 50 metres from the hotel,” Mr Butler told Fairfax radio.
“From that point onwards until 11am the next day when I woke up on my bed fully clothed, I have no recollection of anything.
“I lost a video camera, my personal camera, and all the cash out of my wallet. It was a pretty violating experience.”
Pictures of Worsfold’s efforts in the race, as well as personal pictures, were lost with the stolen cameras.
Mr Butler, who is now back in Australia, said he believes his drink may have been spiked while in the cafe, and reported the thefts to the New York police.
“Looking back, I don’t think there is anything that I could have done differently,” Mr Butler said.
“But there is 10 hours of my life that has gone missing.”