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Durban - Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World has lifted a 12-month ban on a Durban policeman who was detained and then banned by security guards while attempting to resolve a violent domestic dispute on its property.
Durban policeman Captain Marc Wyatt claimed that the security officers at the casino had treated him like a “criminal” despite him trying to explain that he was a policeman intervening in a violent quarrel.
He said had been leaving Suncoast with his fiancée Marilyn Kahn, also a police officer, in the early hours of Sunday when they saw a woman crying in the car park and a man allegedly threatening to kill her.
He stepped in when he saw that the woman was in physical danger from her partner.
Suncoast spokeswoman Louise Howell thanked Wyatt on Tuesday for “reacting to the situation and trying to assist as a responsible citizen as well as in his capacity as an off-duty police captain”.
On Sunday, Wyatt was held in an interrogation room by the security at Suncoast for several hours after he had approached the man, who had allegedly been wielding a tyre iron, and asked him to drop the “weapon”.
He had identified himself as a police officer and asked the man to stop what he was doing, but the man threatened to strike him with the tyre iron.
Inside the man’s car, sat a woman with a “bleeding lip”, crying.
There was a scuffle and Wyatt disarmed the man, who fell on to the ground.
Security officers then surrounded them and demanded that Wyatt make a statement.
“I asked them if they were going to arrest me and on what charge because I had done nothing wrong. I told them that I had to act – it was my duty as a police officer,” said Wyatt.
He said he was told that he should not have acted as he had “on private property”.
“There is no such thing as private property for a policeman when a crime is being committed,” he said.
He was then served with a prohibition notice barring him from Suncoast for 12 months.
“I intend to sue the casino for unlawful detention and because it was embarrassing for me to be treated the way I was.”
According to the “refusal of entry”, Wyatt was barred from Suncoast effective from July 1, 2012 until July 1, 2013.
Asked why Wyatt had been detained, Howell said: “Protocol followed by Suncoast’s security department ensures that all patrons are safeguarded in such incidents, and therefore all parties involved were questioned.” - The Mercury