Forum: Useful to know how to safely restrain a criminal suspect

Further to the report on the inquiry into Mr Andrew Ho Chee Meng's death, I wonder if there was any finding of asphyxiation in the autopsy (Man restrained by public died of natural disease process: Coroner, Sept 23)?

I ask after looking at the pictures in the report showing the scene where Mr Ho was held down by members of the public on an uneven surface in such a manner that the edge of the kerb was pressed against his abdomen just below his rib cage.

Two of the bystanders were seen pressing down on the lower back of Mr Ho, against the edge of the kerb, which acted like a fulcrum.

If this were so, it could have put pressure on his stomach causing him to vomit.

Also, the external pressure on his rib cage could have restricted his breathing.

Even though the above might have occurred, the passers-by who restrained the man could not possibly have knowledge of proper and safe methods of restraining a person, thus should be exonerated.

There have been several reports of alleged criminals being chased down by members of the public, being caught, and immobilised till the arrival of the police.

And this is good reason for the public to be taught how to safely restrain an unarmed culprit and continually monitor him as a means of mitigating risks.

One such method is simply to immobilise at the elbow of the outstretched upper limb while the culprit is face down, without having to touch any point from the head to the torso.

Dana Elliott (Dr)