Hunt is on after bizarre death
HOMICIDE detectives are hunting a young man following the bizarre death of a man in the main street of Heathcote on Sunday night.
The dead man, believed to be in his 40s and who recently moved to the area, was reported to police by residents around 9.20pm after he allegedly was involved in a disturbance in High St near the Heathcote Fire Station.
Eyewitnesses reported he appeared to be alarmed and behaving erratically, complaining someone was “after him”.
He was barefoot, accompanied by a dog and carrying a large torch.
Police said the man approached the former BK’s Takeaway shop, which opened under new ownership as George’s Takeaway last week, where he allegedly smashed the front door glass with the torch, though it is unclear whether the action was deliberate.
Police also confirmed the owner’s teenage son was injured during the incident, later being treated for broken ribs.
A witness told the McIvor Times bystanders attempted to restrain the man when a local off-duty police officer arrived to assist, at which point the man became unresponsive and collapsed to the footpath.
The officer immediately began administering CPR.
Which is when the incident took an incredibly bizarre twist.
While the officer and another bystander were trying to revive the man, a young man arrived “out of nowhere” in a car and after getting out of the vehicle proceeded to attack the collapsed man by allegedly kicking him.
The off-duty officer grappled the attacker but then let him go, more concerned for the life of the collapsed man.
He was shouting at the attacker, warning him he could face serious charges, at which point the man jumped back into his car and drove off at high speed.
Paramedics arrived shortly after and continued the attempts to revive the man, but he died at the scene.
The man has been identified, but police are in the process of notifying his next of kin and will prepare a report for the Coroner.
Police blocked the north-bound lane from Herriot St to the takeaway store until early Monday with the area between the shop and the Union Hotel cordoned off with police tape until the man’s body could be removed by the coroner and the police forensics team arrived on site.
Victoria Police are conducting an investigation into the police officer’s role while the homicide investigation continues.
The owner of the shop told media he did not know the man, had never seen him before but that he smashed his way into the shop.
Police are appealing for any witnesses to the incident or who may have seen the man in the hours leading up to his death to contact them on 5433 3711 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Police are investigating the death of a man in front of a takeaway shop in Heathcote on Sunday night.