Man hospitalised after Octagon assault

A man is in hospital with a fractured skull after an assault near a cordon, put in place following the death of a Dunedin man in an Octagon bar hours earlier.

The man was one of two who tried to enter a police cordon around Craft Bar about 8pm on Sunday when detectives were undertaking a scene examination, police said.

The cordon was put in place after a 35-year-old man was found unconscious in the toilets of Craft Bar in the Octagon, about 1.40am on Sunday. He was unable to be revived.

That night, two men, who had earlier been spotted throwing chairs around the Octagon, approached the cordon, police said.

An altercation, involving five men and a woman, broke out at a nearby taxi rank, resulting in one of the pair - a 38-year-old man - being struck by a bottle, police said.

He was taken to Dunedin Hospital and remains in a serious but stable condition following surgery for a fractured skull.

Inquiries into the incident are continuing.

Inspector Jason Guthrie, relieving area commander Dunedin Clutha Waitaki, said police inquiries included determining whether the men involved knew the dead man.

He confirmed CCTV footage was part of the police investigation into the Sunday night incident.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, when asked to comment on the safety of the inner city, said: ''I certainly, from time to time, don't feel comfortable, but I am rarely in the Octagon very late.''

Police were concerned this was the second alcohol-related incident resulting in serious harm in a short space of time.

Appropriate use of alcohol was everyone's responsibility and people needed to ensure they were enjoying themselves in a way that would not result in harm to themselves or others, he said.

Anyone who witnessed the incident was urged to contact Detective Sergeant Dave Nelson on (03) 471-4800, or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.

Too much booze

I happened to drive through the Octagon about 12.45am on Sunday and the place was buzzing. I would not like to have been walking. Even driving through has it's moments. It does not feel safe. 

It's another world a few hours later when people go to the service at cathedral and visitors are strolling through taking photos The rubbish has been cleared and pavements swept. 

Walk up the road though and there is vomit, smashed bottles and rubbish in the hedges and carparks. What a mess.

Dunedin it's time to watch the booze behaviour. Nip it in the bud. [Abridged]  

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