‘Your mate is dead’: Chilling details of balcony death
A FRIEND of Brisbane teen Cian English was roused from being bashed unconscious and told "Your mate is dead", after the 19-year-old plunged from a Gold Coast balcony trying to escape a violent robbery, police say.
The Courier-Mail understands in a final act of bravery, Mr English stepped in to defend his mate during the alleged attack, who was being repeatedly punched in the face, before the group allegedly turned on the 19-year-old from Hawthorne.
Mr English was found about 3.15am on Saturday after he had fallen from the fourth-floor balcony of View Pacific Apartments at Surfers Paradise, where he had been staying.
Police will allege that he was trying to escape the violent robbery when he fell to his death.
Jason Ryan Knowles, 22, Lachlan Paul Soper-Lagas, 18, and Hayden Paul Kratzmann, 20, were arrested on Saturday and charged on Sunday over the incident.
All three men have been charged with Mr English's murder, two counts of deprivation of liberty and two counts of robbery while armed in company.
Police will allege Mr English and his friend, who has not been named to protect his privacy, went to an upstairs apartment to party with a group of people, including those now charged with murder. The group from the floor above Mr English and his friends offered to share a stash of prescription drugs, it has been alleged.
The two groups are believed to have gone back and forth between the two Glitter Strip apartments throughout the night.
Things turned sour when Mr English's friend allegedly got into an argument with the men, who began demanding he remove his clothing and hand over the vest he was wearing, police claim.
Kratzmann allegedly held a knife to Mr English's throat before forcing him to also take off his jacket.
The group of men, armed with knives, allegedly threatened the pair, saying that they had to stay in the apartment despite them allegedly begging to leave.
A terrified Mr English ran toward the balcony of the unit and was chased by the men before falling to his death, police will allege.
When police and paramedics entered one of the apartments, they found four other teens, as young as 16, in varying states of consciousness.
They were taken to Robina Hospital for observation.
It is understood that drug utensils and a large quantity of diazepam, or Valium, was found in the room.
Two of the men - Knowles and Kratzmann - were arrested in Brisbane on Saturday. They had their matters heard in the Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday, while Soper-Lagas had his case briefly mentioned in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court.
None were able to apply for bail because of the serious nature of the charges.
They did not personally appear in court, but Kratzmann and Knowles' matters were adjourned to Southport Magistrates Court on August 4 by their lawyers Jon Ide and Andrew Bale.
Soper-Lagas will appear in Beenleigh Magistrates Court again today to determine his next hearing date.
It is alleged the robbery and deprivation of liberty of the pair was filmed and posted to social media.
Police are also investigating whether a number of chemist robberies on the Gold Coast and Logan could be linked to any of the men involved in the incident.
Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith on Sunday said Mr English's family were "shattered".
"It is a tragic circumstance around this - you have a young man on the Gold Coast with his friends and one thing has led to another and he's now dead."
Originally published as 'Your mate is dead': Chilling details of balcony death