Police comb through 100 witness statements, mobile phone footage to find out what happened at Cairns nightspot
DETECTIVES are combing through more than 100 witness statements to get a better picture of events at a Cairns nightspot that led to the tragic death of a 39-year-old man.
Far Northern regional crime co-ordinator Det Insp Bruno Asnicar has appealed for anyone with mobile phone video footage or images taken before, during, or after the altercation in the beer garden of the Union Jack Hotel on Saturday, to come forward.
"You cannot be naive that at 10pm at a hotel that there’s going to be absolutely sober people there able to recount what actually happened so we need as many sources of information as we can,’’ Insp Asnicar said.
"We’re systemically going through witnesses so we can collate what they’ve got to say and piece together what actually occurred," Insp Asnicar said.
A Smithfield man, 39, involved in the incident about 9pm on Saturday, died at Cairns Base Hospital at 1.45am yesterday.
A major incident room has been set up at the Cairns police station with detectives called in from Brisbane and other stations in the Cairns district to help with the extensive
At the time of the incident, witnesses were held in the premises for several hours as officers took statements from staff, security guards and patrons.
"We don’t have a crystal clear idea what actually happened but I can tell you the advice that I’ve received is there was a disturbance at some stage during the night, the hotel security people have become involved and the man has become detained by security. A call was made to police who then attended," Insp Asnicar said.
"When police arrived they conducted an assessment on the man who was being restrained by security and determined he needed further assistance.
"Police at the scene commenced CPR and assisted the ambulance when they arrived. Certainly we’re looking at the role security played.
"It’s a major fact in the matter. We’ve got a situation where there was a disturbance, security were involved and now out of that circumstance we have a fatality.
"There is CCTV footage and we’re looking at that. However, everybody has a mobile phone these days with video and photo capabilities. In fact we’ve identified some people off the CCTV footage that we know that have gotten video or images.
"We don’t know if we’ve got everybody who saw the incident so I would like to appeal to anybody who was at the hotel and hasn’t been spoken to by police to please come forward."
Insp Asnicar said the man’s partner was with him at the time of the incident.
"We’ve spoken to her and, as you could imagine, she’s devastated as are his family," he said.
Insp Asnicar said the investigation also included questioning security guards, licensing conditions and the venue’s general crowd.
The Union Jack Hotel management declined to comment when approached by The Cairns Post yesterday.
Police are yet to release the man’s name as officers try to make contact with his father.
No charges had been laid.
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
Search for answers: Police are calling for people with mobile phone footage of an incident at the Jack Hotel in Cairns to come forward. Picture: MARC McCORMACK