Early investigations indicated the man received a knockout punch and may have fractured his skull.Alcohol-fuelled violence, crimes move west as Kings Cross empties
A man is fighting for his life and is expected to undergo emergency surgery after he was punched in the face in Darling Harbour early on Sunday morning.
Emilio Bonanni, 25, was walking with a group of male and female friends on the Eastern Promenade of Cockle Bay Wharf, when they encountered a group of three men about 1am.
An argument broke out and then quickly escalated into a physical fight between the two groups.
Mr Bonanni, a resident of Green Valley in Sydney’s west, was punched a number of times during the brawl before he fell to the ground, hitting his head on the brick promenade.
Acting Inspector Steve Hodges said police were not characterising the incident as a one-punch attack, with early investigations indicating the man received a knockout punch and may have fractured his skull.
“The hospital are telling us he is in a very serious condition. They are conducting tests at the moment but they can’t give us much more than that at this point in time,” he said.
It is believed Mr Bonanni lost consciousness at the scene, at which point his attackers fled through Town Square towards Wheat Street where they were last seen entering a grey or blue coloured sedan.
Mr Bonanni’s friends provided first aid before police and paramedics arrived just after 1.30am. He was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics for serious head injuries before being taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, where he was placed in an induced coma and taken to surgery.
It is understood that he has not regained consciousness.
Detectives were reviewing CCTV footage but cameras had not captured footage of the actual assault, acting Inspector Hodges said.
Police have called for witnesses to come forward to assist with their investigations.
“[This is] definitely not a one-punch incident. This was an assault with a number of punches thrown,” he said.
It is not known whether Mr Bonanni was actively involved in the brawl, but he suffered “a number of punches before he went down”.
Sunday’s incident comes just one week after another early-morning brawl in Sydney’s CBD left a 26-year-old fighting for his life. The man remains in hospital in a serious condition.
Police were yet to confirm whether alcohol was a factor in Sunday’s violence, but acting Inspector Hodges said police continued to endorse the lockout laws that were introduced in March 2014, following the community backlash to the one-punch deaths of Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie.
“The lockout laws are having a great impact. They are actually reducing the number of assaults within the Sydney metropolitan area.”
Detectives from Sydney City Local Area Command are conducting investigations into the matter and would like to speak to three young men.
One has been described as Caucasian in appearance, about 180 to 185 centimetres tall with black curly hair.
A second man is described as having blond or sandy coloured hair. There was no description for the third man.
“We are following up everything we possibly can. We are confident those leads will lead us somewhere,” acting Inspector Hodges said.