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Handcuffs could have prevented death

Handcuffs could have prevented death say NZSOA New Zealand Security Officers Association Tuesday 17 October 2006

The death of a man in a Blenheim bar last year could have been prevented if the doormen who restrained him had recourse to the use of handcuffs, the New Zealand Security Officers Association said today.

Thirty-six year old Cedric Joyce died of asphyxiation at the Copper Bock bar on July 23, 2005 in Blenheim, following an incident where doormen James Stuart Neal and Malaki Christopher Mulitalo restrained Joyce after he launched a physical attack on Neal when asked to leave the premises.

Mulitalo and Neal were both charged with manslaughter following the death of Joyce. Neal was also charged with assault with intent to injure. Both doormen were cleared of all charges brought against them in the High Court in Wellington last week.

Media spokesperson for the New Zealand Security Officers Association, Darryn Loveridge said today, “These two doormen were faced with someone using force against them in an unlawful and disproportionate manner. They had their safety, the safety of Joyce, and the safety of others in the bar to consider.”

The New Zealand Security Officers Association pointed out the medical risk posed by positional asphyxia, a condition associated with prolonging restraint in the facedown or prone position in which Joyce was restrained by Mulitalo and Neal.

The NZSOA said that Australian studies indicated that restraint in a sitting position was preferential to the prone position as it encouraged better respiratory and cardiac response. However, it would only be possible to keep someone restrained in a sitting position after having first applied some form of mechanical restraint such as handcuffs, whilst in the prone position. The NZSOA claims that this would minimise the length of time a person was restrained in the prone position.

Media spokesperson Darryn Loveridge said, “It may well be that the prohibition preventing security officers and doormen from using handcuffs to restrain persons behaving in an aggressive manner, may have cost someone their life and dragged two of our country’s more professional doormen through our legal system unnecessarily.”


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