Man who died at casino 'seen as threat': security guard
20/06/2012 - A man who died after an argument with security officers at Melbourne's Crown Casino made physical contact with a bouncer shortly before he was tackled to the ground, a court has heard. Daniel Fogarty
Anthony Dunning, 40, died in July last year after the incident on the floor of the casino's gaming area.
Bouncer Matthew Lawson, 27, of Hoppers Crossing, is facing a committal hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, charged with Dunning's manslaughter.
Crown security officer Christian Luta told the court on Tuesday he had a hand on Dunning as he was escorting him from the casino, when Dunning looked back and saw that his two friends were on the casino floor with bouncers.
When he saw this, Dunning freed himself from Luta and turned to his left, the court heard.
At this point Dunning made physical contact with another security officer, Cameron Paul Sanderson, Luta said.
Under cross examination by Ian Hill QC, for Lawson, Luta agreed that it was his opinion that Dunning was looking to push Sanderson out of the way and go back to where his friends were.
Asked if he saw Dunning as a threat, Luta replied, "That is correct."
Luta agreed that soon afterwards, Lawson came in and tackled Dunning to the ground.
Asked by Hill if the decision had been made in a very quick time, Luta replied: "That is correct."
Dunning had been asked to leave Crown because staff believed he was intoxicated.
He died from a brain injury following a cardiorespiratory arrest during restraint, including pressure on the neck, an autopsy found.
The autopsy also noted Dunning was an obese man with an enlargement of the heart.
Sanderson, 40, is charged with assaulting Dunning.
Four other Crown security staff - Quoc Hai Tran, 34, Jacques Tony Fucile, 30, Nicholas Vladamir Levchenko, 26 and Benjamin Michael Vigo, 24 - are facing assault-related charges connected to Dunning or the incidents involving his friends.
The hearing before Magistrate Peter Reardon is continuing.
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