Father dies in hospital after ‘one-punch’ attack

UPDATE at 11:00 AM | A WELL known and much loved father, son, brother and mate has tragically died in hospital, 10 days before Christmas following a shocking alleged ‘one-punch’ attack outside an RSL club in country NSW.

Ervin Gustowski, 58, died after his family made the heartbreaking decision to switch off his life-support this morning.

Mr Gustowski was reportedly trying to break up a fight outside the Ex-Services Memorial Club in the small town of Junee, 40km north of Wagga Wagga, when he was knocked unconscious about 12.45am on Saturday.


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It’s understood the 58-year-old collapsed and smashed his head on the ground, fracturing his skull.

Police said they had been called to reports of an assault and were at the club, speaking with several patrons when they were alerted to Mr Gustowski lying unconscious on the footpath.

Paramedics worked on the local father at the scene before rushing him to the Wagga Wagga Base Hospital in a critical condition.

It’s understood he sustained life-threatening head injuries in the assault, including severe swelling and bleeding on the brain.

Sadly, despite the absolute best efforts of paramedics, doctors and hospital staff, Mr Gustowski could not be saved.

The man passed away in hospital on Sunday morning, police said in a statement.

One Punch

JUST IN: A 58 year-old Junee man is fighting for life at Wagga Base Hospital following an alleged ‘one punch’ attack outside the Junee Ex-Services Memorial Club early this morning.More details to come. #9NewsRiverina

Posted by 9 News Riverina on Friday, 14 December 2018

Mr Gustowski’s sudden death has plunged the tight-knit town of Junee – home to a little over 6,000 residents – into mourning.

Local Facebook page Junee Thumbs Up Thumbs Down has been flooded with touching tributes.

“He was a real gentleman and a true friend. Rest In Peace my mate,” one person wrote.

“This is absolutely devastating! So sad,” said another.

“I hope the person who has inflicted this amount of heartbreak to this family is caught and held responsible for his actions!”

Police have said they are treating the incident as a ‘one-punch attack’, though it was not immediately known if Mr Gustowski was deliberately ‘coward-punched’ or accidentally struck while trying to break up the fight.

It’s understood the incident unfolded out of view of security cameras.

A dedicated police strike force has been setup to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Mr Gustowski’s death and will be led by detectives from the Riverina Police District and the Homicide Squad.

It’s understood a younger man who was allegedly involved in the initial fight sustained a suspected broken jaw in the melee.

Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward. They particularly want to speak with anyone who may have mobile phone or dash cam footage of the incident.

Anyone with any information at all that could assist police is urged to come forward and call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

No charges have yet been laid.

If you have information for Police, please contact NSW Police on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day. 

You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

FIRST on SATURDAY | A FATHER has been placed on life-support, 10-days before Christmas following a shocking one-punch attack outside an RSL club in country New South Wales.

The 58-year-old man was reportedly trying to break up a fight outside the Ex-Services Memorial Club in the small town of Junee, in the state’s Riverina, when he was hit early Saturday morning.

Police said they were called to the club about 12:45am and found the local father lying unconscious on the footpath outside the venue.

Paramedics attended and treated the man before rushing him to the Base Hospital in Wagga, 40km south of the town, where he remained in a critical condition on Saturday afternoon.

It’s understood the man sustained life-threatening head injuries, including severe bleeding and swelling on the brain, and has been placed on life support.

The man’s family has been seen gathering at the hospital.

A crime scene remained in place at the club in Junee early on Saturday afternoon while detectives investigated the circumstances surrounding the incident.

No charges have yet been laid.

Anyone who witnessed the fight, or has any information that could assist police with their investigation is urged to come forward and call Wagga Police on (02) 6922 2599, or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

No further information was available at the time of writing.

If you have information for Police, please contact NSW Police on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day. 

You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

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