herald

Thursday 18 September 2014

Naked man died after garda chase

A NAKED man died shortly after running around a city suburb, an inquest has heard. Gardai say that they had no choice but to chase William Kavanagh (58) from Edenmore Crescent in Dublin shortly before he died.



He was restrained by gardai when they found him running around naked in the Bayside area.

The inquest was told that Mr Kavanagh had punched a female garda in the jaw as she tried to calm him down. He became unwell after gardai handcuffed him and placed him in the recovery position. He was not breathing when paramedics arrived at the scene.

He had been involved in a number of other incidents earlier in the night. Dublin Coroner's Court previously heard from State pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy that Mr Kavanagh was exhibiting symptoms of excited delirium in the hours before his death.

The condition leads to sudden, bizarre and often violent behaviour. Mr Kavanagh, who had significant cardiac disease, died as a result of a stress-related heart attack.

At the continuation of the inquest into Mr Kavanagh's death, Garda Aidan Morgan said that he and Garda Judith Notely had responded to the call about the naked man when they saw him running towards their car.

He got in the back seat and shouted "Darndale, Darndale, Buttercup" before getting out again. They pursued him on foot and when Garda Notely put her hand on his arm to try to calm him down, the deceased turned around and punched her in the jaw, said Garda Morgan.

"He attempted to hit Garda Notely again but she blocked the punch and grabbed hold of his arm. I grabbed his other arm and we tried to pull him to the ground. The fact that he had no clothing on made this very difficult," he said.

Garda Morgan said that there was no alternative but to pursue Mr Kavanagh on foot because the area is full of alleyways and laneways.

It wasn't until Reserve Garda Noel Cumiskey arrived at the scene that they were able to restrain Mr Kavanagh, bringing him to the ground and handcuffing him.

Mr Kavanagh slowly calmed down and stopped shouting abuse.

The inquest continues.

kdoyle@herald.ie

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