Crown Casino Bouncers Charged with Manslaughter
In July of last year, a forty-year-old patron of the Crown Casino in Melbourne suffered brain injury due to oxygen deprivation after he was confronted by two bouncers who work for the casino. That patron later died from his injuries and the two bouncers were charged with his death. They are now appearing in Victorian Supreme Court to face those charges.
The two men have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter. Witnesses have stated that the patron was drunk and for some unknown reason the two security officers took him to the ground and put him in a choke hold that lasted several minutes. It is suggested by the prosecution that this choke hold caused the oxygen deprivation which led to his brain trauma which led to his death. A third security officer has been charged with assault on the patron, but not charged with manslaughter.
Prosecutor for the case stated in his opening remarks that the officiers were escorting the patron out of the casino because the man was drunk. At some point, things turned violent and the patron was “slammed into the ground” by at the three security staff. While on the ground, the patron was forcibly kept down for at least four minutes. According to the prosecutor, the only crime the patron has committed was that of being intoxicated. He went on to say that the patron had not caused any trouble at the casino, had simply been drunk. It was also reported that the security staff stayed on top of the patron even though the patron was not moving or resisting.
According to the prosecution, it will try to assert that it was the continued pressure on the patron’s neck (by both defendants) that led to his death. It was also reported in court that the third defendant (the one who is charged with manslaughter) did, at some point, try to get the other two to release the patron’s neck. It was stated if he was successful in this endeavor or not during the court proceedings.
The prosecutor went on the say that the actions that the security officers used amounted to “direct conflict” and “dangerous” treatment to the patron. He went to say that their actions were in direct violation of their training as security officers. The patron died four days after the incident took place.
As of this writing, the defense has not yet presented its case or made its opening statements. Also, no comment was forthcoming from the casino or its management concerning the case.
While this case took place in Australia, it may reflect a growing concern by many casino owners as they begin to locate in various foreign countries where laws and actions may not be the same as they are in the US. In this particular case, it is difficult to say if the security officers acted with malice or if they knew they had the patron in a life-threatening position. More on this story as it develops over the coming weeks, perhaps months.