Probe into death of patient `restraint`by seven Met officers

The police watchdog launched an investigation today into the death of a psychiatric patient after he was forcibly restrained by up to seven Met officers.Olaseni Lewis,23 believed to be from South Norwood,is thought to have slipped into a coma after his airways were restricted at the Bethlem Royal Hospital in Beckenham.He never regained consciousness and died four days later in intensive care at the Mayday hospital in Croydon.

Today the Independant Police Complaints Commission confirmed it is to investigate the mans contact with police at the Bethlem on August 31st.The incident has only come to light following enquiries by the Evening Standard.A post mortem examination into the cause of death is believed to have been inconclusive.Police sources said officers had been called to deal with a violent patient.He collapsed and officers gave first aid and attempted to revive him.No officers were suspended or placed on restricted duties as a result of the incident.

Mr Lewis is understood to have been detained under the mental Health Act.Police in Bromley were called by the hospital staff to help restrain him when he turned violent,a normal practice.However,nurses are said to have been ``horrified`` at the way the police acted when they arrived.The Evening Standard has been told several nurses who witnessed the incident later logged it as a ``violent restraint`` meaning they thought inappropriate force was used.A hospital source said ``Staff have been told not to say anything about what happened but everyone who saw it was very concerned.Because the outrage in the hospital as to the way police conducted themselves,there was a meeting about the case.

Scotland Yard said that it could not comment because the case had been referred to the IPCC.An IPCC spokeswoman said ``I can confirm an independant investigation is under way in to the death of a 23 year old man who was a patient at Bethlem Hospital.Hospital bosses have launched a seperate inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death.
Psychiatric patients can exert phenomenal strength; I once saw one pick a policewoman up by the belt buckle and throw her quite some distance. He did this one-handed and made it look easy. He was eventually subdued by the policewoman and her hulking male partner, along with two fairly large male passers-by. It took them some several minutes, and they were still struggling to manage.
Of course I'm sure the Hospital staff helped out! Or did they step back , call the Police then criticise?

Can't wait for Western to turn up with Semper Felixis , haven't had a plod bashing thread for hours....................................................
No but we have had knobs like you on here constantly. I see you are already lining up your moaning defence by slagging off the hospital staff.

Ever dealt with a violent psychiatric patient? I have and it is ****ing frightening. Even if they have used inappropriate force my sympathy is with the Police on this one.
**** me! Western is going to go into overtime on this one.

Jesus wept! That was spooky western!!! And I'm smackgobbed that the filth aren't getting both barrells!!
"Ever dealt with a violent psychiatric patient? I have and it is ****ing frightening." - Western

Is dealing with frightening violent situations with "appropriate force" not a fundamental aspect of policing. I am not plod bashing because I was not there, but IF they have used inappropriate force they get no sympathy from me. This investigation will cost the tax payer more money we don't have and IF they have behaved inappropriatley will cost even more money when the patients family sue, the nurses sue for trauma...


Gallery Guru
Some people just die when being restrained i'll hunt out a reference if I can find one. I've seen 13 prison officers on a prisoner - 3on each limb and one watching the head. The creature was still bucking like a bronco.
Surely that kind of exertion would put tremendous strain on the body; sufficient to cause sudden death from stroke/heart attack/aneurism/whatever?


Gallery Guru
Surely that kind of exertion would put tremendous strain on the body; sufficient to cause sudden death from stroke/heart attack/aneurism/whatever?
The research i'm thinking of recreated with healthy volunteers putting weights on the body's and had resus. kit but they didn't get anyone to die I think. I'll look it up. I think there may have been a link to cocaine use, maybe.
From what I've experienced with restraing people, the biggest problem is to restrain without them hurting themselves.
Surely they should have just tazered him. That would have been the less violent approach.


Gallery Guru
Is it called "Positional asphyxia" to which black people are far more vulnerable ?
Could be. I'd forgotten that book was at home after all. I'll dig it out. It showed someone being restrained with a shed load of weights on his back. It's in Karch's Pathology of substance misuse - the latest edition.
Surely they should have just tazered him. That would have been the less violent approach.
People have died from Tazer as well.

I have to give the police the benefit of the doubt on this one. As others have posted, one of the most dangerous and frightening opponents is someone who has gone berserk; strength, aggression, resistance to pain and shock are all ramped up to the max.

I'm 6' 2", weigh 100 kilos and my hobbies are weight training and martial arts, which I've practiced for the last nine years. There is no way I could restrain the average man without causing him damage. The fancy wrist-locks etc only work on training courses with a compliant partner or in Steven Segal movies. In the real world, unless you are willing to break the guys wrist/arm, they are'nt going to work one-on-one.

The only way to restrain someone who is determined to resist(without knocking them out first)is for several people to grab the persons limbs. Even then, if they are struggling violently, someone is going to get hurt. Never underestimate what people are capable of under extreme stress; there have been reports in the States of criminals continuing to fight even after being Tazered or hit with pepper spray.

Tragic that the bloke died, but I'm not automatically going to condem the police on this one. There is a world of differance between trying to restrain a violent mental patient and bouncing some mouthy bint's head of a cell floor.


Gallery Guru
If the Nurses were so upset they could have asked the police to stop or leave the ward. I don't miss having to fight with such people anymore. One prison I worked at we got prisoners back who were too violent for Rampton to look after. Some were like female Hannibal Lecter's and couldn't take your eyes off them for a minute. One knocked a nurse out by bashing her over her head, she was so fat her arms were the size of my waist, the nurse got a detached retina and was knocked out. The prisoner ended up at a local A&E dept, wrecked it swinging an officer around like a toy at the end of some handcuffs. The police fetched it back God knows how many of them and the van was rocking from side to side all the way through the prison gates to the healthcare. Some of the creatures we used to move from prison to prison in the middle of the night every 28 days they were so wearing on the staff.

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