Man dies after brawl at Ballina
A 24-YEAR-OLD man at the centre of a 'brawl' in Ballina has died in the Gold Coast University Hospital after suffering 'catastrophic head injuries'.
While police are yet to formally release the Ballina man's name, Richmond Police District acting Superintendent Nicole Bruce confirmed the man's life support had "been turned off" on Boxing Day.
She said the investigation into the alleged attack was ongoing.
Police and emergency services had responded to reports of a brawl near Hill and Park Streets, East Ballina at 8pm on Sunday, December 23.
NSW Ambulance paramedics located the 24-year-old man suffering serious head injuries.
He was then airlifted to Gold Coast University Hospital, where he later died on Thursday.
Richmond Police District detective chief inspector Cameron Lindsay said on Monday they had spoken to several men immediately following the incident but were urging anyone with information to come forward.
"We believe the assault happened at around 8pm last night (Sunday) and we are appealing for anyone that may have seen anything, particularly anyone that may have taken footage of the assault to contact Crime Stoppers or Ballina detectives," det Lindsay said.
"We believe that there are quite a number of people out there that would have seen this, that were in that location, and we even believe that some people took video footage on their phones," he said.
He said police were still canvassing possibility of CCTV footage and believed there were earlier altercations between a group of males within the hotel that later escalated out the front of the hotel.
Police allege the man had been at a local pub with friends, and became involved in an altercation after leaving, during which he was assaulted and fell to the ground, knocking him unconscious.
A number of witnesses were spoken to and a 19-year-old man was arrested and taken to Ballina Police Station.
About 11.20pm, a 22-year-old man attended Ballina Police Station and spoke with investigators.
Both men have been released pending further inquiries.
Det Lindsay said people needed to wary of the amount of alcohol they consume, especially during the holiday season.
"It is a real reminder for people at this time of year to be very careful about the level of intoxication and we may allege down the track that intoxication played a part in this incident."
Acting Supt Bruce also urged people to reconsider driving if they've had a few drinks.
"We've got Operation Safe Arrival, so police will be out RBT to keep everyone safe," she said.
"I would urge people to continue responsible drinking over festive season.
Detectives from Richmond Police District have established Strike Force Tancred to investigate the incident.
Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Tancred investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or www.nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.