A POLICE probe is continuing today after a Boldon Colliery man was found dead at the bottom of cliffs after escaping from a police car.
Karl David Carson had been arrested after a fight broke out in a pub car park following an engagement party.
Police say they had detained the 26-year-old but he managed to get out of the police car as officers went to arrest a second man.
His body was found at the bottom of cliffs at about 1am yesterday.
Karl was believed to be a father-of-two, who played football for Wearside League outfit Boldon CA.
The matter has now been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Winton Keenen said: “This is an incredibly tragic incident and our thoughts are very much with the family and friends of Mr Carson.
“As a matter of course, the incident was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and we’re co-operating fully with them.
“Specialist officers are providing support to the family and I’d like to reassure people that we’re working closely with the IPCC to establish the full details of this incident.”
The fight broke out in the car park of the Marsden Grotto pub, in South Shields, following the engagement party.
Pub landlord Paul Simpson told of his shock. He said: “We had an engagement party. They had all left apart from a last few who were organising going into town or someone else’s house for another drink and someone asked me to book a taxi.
“I rang a local taxi firm and they said they wouldn’t send anybody out because people are fighting outside and one of their taxis nearly got damaged.
“I told people we couldn’t get any more taxis and they said they would go and sort out the trouble. I was told it was a fight between friends.
“I don’t know what it was over, but the next thing I knew was there were police everywhere and the police helicopter was out.”
The air ambulance was called and Mr Carson was given treatment by officers until paramedics arrived, where he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr Simpson added: “I was shocked to hear about the tragic event that happened and my thoughts are with all those involved.”