US court orders ex-NRL player to work in soup kitchen after bizarre violent rampage

Ben Brennan and agencies

Former Wests Tigers prop Matthew Lodge will avoid another stint in New York's infamous Rikers Island jail if he works in a soup kitchen, undergoes anger management treatment and abides by other court-ordered demands.

Lodge, 20, was facing between five and 25 years' jail for his rampage on Manhattan's Upper West Side in October.

But New York prosecutors, noting Lodge's high level of intoxication and remorse, agreed on Tuesday to a plea deal for a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault - rather than pursuing the felony burglary causing injury charge.

The sentence comes after the ex-NRL player was arrested at gun point by police after a bizarre and violent rampage in Manhatten which saw him attack two women, break into a family's apartment and throw a bottle of wine at police.

Matthew Lodge when he was playing for Wests Tigers. Photo: AAP

Lodge will be allowed to fly back to Australia to undergo his community service and treatment.

The hulking 193cm tall, 110kg Lodge, during a New York holiday, attacked and threatened two women after they alighted from a taxi at 4am on October 16.

According to court documents, Lodge asked them to return with him to Australia so he could introduce them to his family. When they refused he told them: "Tonight is the night you die."

The women allegedly ran to their friend Guillaume Roemaet's apartment and when a shirtless, tattooed Roemaet came out to see if he could help, Lodge allegedly said: "You don't scare me. I have tattoos too. I'm going to kill you."

He then followed them to an apartment building where they were staying, assaulted resident Joseph Cartright - who went to help the women - and forced his way into Mr Cartright's apartment.

At one point he locked Mr Cartright out of his unit, smashed plates and glasses in the kitchen and then attempted to punch his way into a locked bathroom where Mr Cartright's wife and nine-year-old son were hiding.

Lodge allegedly paced inside and said: "My name is Matthew Lodge. I come in peace. Salaam Alaikum," and then walked into the bedroom where Ms Fowler was in bed calling police.

When eight NYPD officers arrived, Lodge threw a two litre bottle of wine at them.

Prosecutors agreed to the plea deal because his high level of intoxication would have made it hard to prove his criminal intent with the more serious burglary charge.

Lodge, who spent several days in Rikers after his arrest, will be given a time-served sentence if he completes 200 hours of community service, including 150 hours in a soup kitchen in Australia.

He must spend 28 days in an in-patient treatment program for alcohol abuse and anger management.

Lodge also must abstain from alcohol and illegal drugs and submit to testing.

He also must avoid another arrest.

If Lodge adheres to all of the court's orders by June 17 he will be sentenced to time served in a Manhattan court , but if he fails to abide by the agreement he will be jailed for a year.

Lodge's once-promising NRL career is now in tatters, with Wests Tigers sacking him soon after his New York arrest.

Lodge also faces a potential multi-million dollar payout with three of his victims filing a civil lawsuit in New York earlier this week.

"The lives of five innocent people, including a boy of nine-years-old, were forever changed by the vicious and violent attacks by defendant Matthew Lodge, a professional rugby player with a history of violence and animosity towards women," the lawsuit states.