Mental health patient escapes and dies

A mental health patient has died after reportedly being tasered by police and hit with pepper spray after breaking out of Sydney hospital. 

Officers were called to a street in Newtown after a 30-year-old man, who was being held under the Mental Health Act, fled Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. 

A witness said she saw 15 officers ‘on top of him’ as they arrested him.

‘My gut feeling was that maybe they used a bit of excessive force trying to arrest him,’ she told the Seven Network.

Witness Andrew Barnett told the Daily Telegraph: ‘We pulled up and I saw five or six police officers on top of one person. The police officers were yelling “stop resisting, stop struggling”.’ 

‘He looked like he may have been a big man but still, and they pulled him back up which made it even worse.’ 

Police said in a statement: ‘A critical incident investigation has commenced after the death of a man in Sydney’s inner-west.

‘Police were called to Carillon Avenue, Newtown, about 1.30pm today after a man, who was being held under the Mental Health Act, fled a nearby hospital.

‘A 30-year-old man was located by officers attached to Inner West Police Area Command, who attempted to arrest the man.

‘The man resisted arrest and collapsed at the scene before being taken to hospital, where he later died.

‘A critical incident team will now investigate all the circumstances surrounding the incident and that investigation will be subject to an independent review.

‘A report will be prepared for Coroner.’