'Good Samaritan' dies trying to stop fight

Ken Poihipi died after trying to stop a fight in the early hours of Saturday, May 20.

Ken Poihipi died after trying to stop a fight in the early hours of Saturday, May 20.

A "good samaritan" died after trying to intervene and stop an early morning fight.

Ken Poihipi, 64, stepped in to stop two young men squaring up in a dispute over cheating with a partner, on the main street outside a bar in the south Auckland suburb of Papakura early on Saturday May 20, a witness said.

But the Clendon man was instead assaulted himself and fell to the ground. The incident occurred about 2.40am on the corner of Elliot St and Great South Rd.

Elliot St in Papakura, where Ken Poihipi tried to stop a fight.

Elliot St in Papakura, where Ken Poihipi tried to stop a fight.

He was rushed to Middlemore Hospital in a critical condition but later died from his injuries, Detective Senior Sergeant Richard O'Connor said.

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Ken Poihipi (with sunglasses) with family members.

Ken Poihipi (with sunglasses) with family members.

Family members said they had yet to learn the full details, but they too had been told Poihipi had died after trying to prevent a fight. 

The eye witness, who did not want to be named, said she and Poihipi had been chatting earlier. She said he was being a "good samaritan" by trying to take a young man away so he was not beaten up.

"And the old fella paid with his life".

Brother, Buck Poihipi, had driven up from Whakatane to be with loved ones who gathered at the family home in Clendon. 

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He said Poihipi had been moving homes on Friday, relocating belongings to Rangiriri. He was unsure why Poihipi had been in Papakura. 

The family planned to hold a tangi at Horahora Marae in the Waikato

O'Connor said a homicide investigation, Operation Cyclone, was under way and two people had been arrested for assault and were taken into police custody for questioning.

"Both men have been cooperating with the investigation and no charges have been laid at this time".

They were released from custody by Saturday night.

Police were investigating, following lines of enquiry and awaiting the results of a post mortem.

They asked anyone with knowledge of the incident to contact the Operation Cyclone team on 09 295 0200.

Poihipi's actions have parallels with those of Auckland woman Lucy Knight. 

She was punched in the back of the head after she intervened as a man snatched a Chinese woman's bag outside a North Shore supermarket.

Her skull was fractured and she suffered a brain bleed. She spent more than a month in hospital and tired easily, suffering headaches for months afterwards.

The mother of six later received a bravery award for her actions. 

Hendrix Hauwai, was was 17 when he hit Knight, was sentenced to four years, nine months in jail for the assault and earlier attacks.

 - Stuff

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