AUDIO: Coroner slams citizen's arrest after man's death

Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar

A QUEENSLAND Coroner has been highly critical of the role five people played in restraining Amit Kumar during a citizen's arrest on the Sunshine Coast which went terribly wrong and resulted in his death.

Coroner John Hutton found those people contributed to Mr Kumar's death but stopped short in laying blame on them.
Mr Kumar, 34, died during the early hours of September 23, 2012, at Parklyn Parade, Mooloolaba, from the combined effects of restraint, coronary artery atherosclerosis and obesity.

It was alleged that Mr Kumar had moments earlier assaulted Offshore Reef and Game Fishing employee Jodie Cassar after she refused to allow him to board the vessel after he had paid $190 for the trip.

Ms Cassar, who would not refund the money, believed Mr Kumar was the same person who months earlier had cancelled a booking at the last minute leaving the company out of pocket.

Ms Cassar's claim has never been proven.

A three day inquest into Mr Kumar's death in Brisbane last month was played two chilling 000 calls where Mr Kumar could be clearly heard telling those who had him pinned to the ground that he could not breathe.

But his cries for help went ignored.

Coroner Hutton, in handing down his findings on Wednesday, found that those who had restrained Mr Kumar did so legally, but their actions towards the end of the incident were unreasonable.

He said their reasoning for not releasing Mr Kumar from the restraint was flawed.

"I find that their failure to release pressure on Mr Kumar, in the last five minutes of their restraint of him, despite Mr Kumar's continual pleading with them that he could not breathe, fell short of any standard of reasonableness," he said.

"The force they used to continue to restrain Mr Kumar in the circumstances was excessive."

Mr Hutton was highly critical of the role Dr Mark Yates played in Mr Kumar's restraint.

He said his given his extensive medical training he should have been more aware of the dangers.

"It was unacceptable for Dr Yates to put aside his medical training and experience on the basis that he was given one job to do, to restrain Mr Kumar's right arm," he said.

"Dr Yates did take control of the situation once CPR was required, but he should have taken more control over Mr Kumar's wellbeing earlier, before it was too late.

"I find that his failure to do so was unreasonable."

Mr Hutton recommended first aid training providers across the state include a component in their courses to raise awareness about the dangers of positional and restraint asphyxia.



Topics:  coroner sunshine coast

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