Death of man found in River Leam ruled to be misadventure - The Leamington Observer

Death of man found in River Leam ruled to be misadventure

Leamington Editorial 14th Jun, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016   0

POLICE were left with ‘few options’ to help Pawel Przydalski when he drowned in the River Leam.

A jury at Warwick Crown Court recently heard how the 26-year-old Polish national died after walking into the river following a row with his fiancée’s brother in the Pump Room Gardens in November 2014.

When police arrived around 9pm they were informed Mr Przydalski – who lived and worked in Leamington – may have a gun and were forced to retreat.

After determining no weapon was present they went back to the scene but were unable to see the victim.

Four days later he was found by a police diver close to where he was last seen.

The assistant coroner for Warwickshire has ruled his death to be misadventure.

And an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found police had no case to answer in relation to an allegation officers failed to take meaningful action to assist when Mr Pryzdalski was in the water.

IPCC commissioner Derrick Campbell said: “I would again send my condolences to the friends and family of Mr Przydalski at this time. We carried out an independent investigation into the police response that evening, and found that officers took all reasonable steps in the difficult circumstances they faced.”

Mr Przydalski was drinking in the Pump Room Gardens with his fiancée Kamila Kowalik and her brother Piotr Kowalik when at around 9pm an argument broke out between the two men.

Mr Pryzsalski had then climbed into the water and refused to get out despite the efforts of Miss and Mr Kowalik, the paramedics and police, who had been called. The fire and rescue service were also called to assist.

Police officers were then informed Mr Pryzdalski may have a gun and were ordered to retreat.

But by the time it emerged the man was unarmed he had disappeared from sight.

Family and friends turned out to help look for Mr Pryzdalski. His body was then discovered near York Road footbridge by a police diver on November 19.

A spokeswoman from the IPCC said: “The IPCC investigator considered that officers were left with very few options as to how they could assist Mr Przydalski when he was in the water and had no access to water rescue equipment.

“The officers’ brief withdrawal from the scene as ordered after a false suggestion was made by a witness that a firearm may be involved was reasonable, in the IPCC investigator’s opinion.”

Since the death of Mr Przydalski, Warwickshire Police has increased the availability of water safety equipment to officers and delivered water safety awareness training to those who may be expected the use it.

The IPCC has also suggested the Warwickshire force consider making the equipment standard in patrol vehicles used within areas which have water related risk.

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