Life support

Oxford St Brawl: Evander Tuala’s life support disabled after alleged abuse

Tributes are pouring in for a man who died after a brutal attack on Oxford St in Sydney as ‘waves of tears, pain and sadness’ afflict his family.

A family has been devastated after a 23-year-old man died 72 hours after being seriously injured in a wild fight outside a popular Sydney pub.

Evander Tuala, a man from western Sydney, was rushed to hospital in the early hours of Saturday after being knocked unconscious during a violent fight outside the Oxford Hotel.

NSW Police said Mr Tuala died around 7.30pm on Monday.

Detectives from Surry Hills Police Station have formed Strike Force Nadzah to investigate the circumstances surrounding the young man’s death.

Police allege Mr Tuala was injured when two groups clashed at the popular Darlinghurst venue before security forced them out, where the problem escalated.

The 23-year-old’s aunt penned a moving tribute to her nephew overnight, saying the “waves of tears, pain and sadness” are heavy.

“We kiss your soul goodbye as the survival machine is turned off and at some point we seek peace, comfort and that light in the dark as we indulge in unforgettable moments, those precious memories we had to experience the beauty of your personality, your protective and selfless attitude, your positive outlook on the world,” Nancy Tautaiolefue wrote around 1 a.m. Tuesday.

“Everything about you was unique, we are so grateful, so lucky and blessed for this opportunity to interact with you, even if it was only for a short time.

“My dear nephew Evander Bronson Tuala aka WOODY, you taught us that life is precious, live with purpose, cherish and enjoy every moment of life even if your life has been stolen by the cruel hand of death, we honor you, we salute you, our beloved hero.

“May you rest in peace and fly high with the angels.”

Mr Tuala’s cousin, Australian rugby sevens player Dietrich Roache, honored him with a message written on his wrist band during a match in Singapore on Sunday evening.

“RIL Woody” read the message, accompanied by a crucifix.

Roach drew attention to the message with a wave during the bronze medal game against Ireland. A club representative has confirmed that the two are cousins.

His heartbroken family wrote touching tributes on social media for Mr Tuala, who had been nicknamed “Woody”.

Mr Tuala’s devastated aunt said her nephew was a ‘lovely boy’ who had been ‘stolen’ from his family.

“You came into the world and brought so much love into our family,” Niu Tuala wrote.

“Now you have left us broken. We were robbed like a thief in the night.

NSW Police said on Monday three men had been charged with the fight and urged anyone with information or video footage to come forward and help in the investigation.

The charges may change, depending on the progress of the investigation.

Detective Superintendent John Duncan said the fight broke out at around 12.36am on Saturday, involving a group from western Sydney and another from the eastern suburbs.

“Right now I’m calling witnesses after a serious assault that happened in the early hours of (Saturday) morning in Surry Hills,” he told reporters.

“A young man walked out of a licensed premises with another young man who had been kicked out for a very minor incident at a hotel. Following this a fight broke out.

Superintendent Duncan said Mr Tuala’s family would be “devastated”.

Confrontational footage captured by someone at the pub shows the moment a handful of men started punching outside the venue.

Security broke up the fight, but not before Mr. Tuala was seriously injured.

Police tried to arrest a number of people, but they are believed to have tried to flee the scene.

After a short chase, three men were arrested nearby and taken to Surry Hills Police Station.

NSW Police charged three men on Saturday afternoon with fighting.

Two of the men, aged 19 and 20, were denied bail in Parramatta Court on Sunday, while the third man, 20, will appear in Downing Center Local Court on May 5.

Investigations are continuing.

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