Passers-by face probe for failing to assist dying man in central square

Passers-by face probe for failing to assist dying man in central square
Several people are being sought by police for reportedly failing to assist a dying man in a public square. Credit: Google Street View

Eight people in the Flemish city of Kortrijk risk being prosecuted after they reportedly walked by and failed to assist a man who lost consciousness and died in the city's central square.

The Kortrijk public prosecutor's office has launched an investigation to identify and potentially charge the eight passers-by with guilty negligence.

Prosecutors are looking into the incident after a 45-year-old man, identified as Bart Rigole, died in the city's Grote Markt last week, according to HLN.

Rigole reportedly sat down on a bench in the square and lost consciousness. A period of two hours passed before someone called the emergency services, surveillance footage showed.

The mother of the man, who was adopted from India at age four and grew up in nearby Sint-Denijs, said she was "outraged" by the fact that the passers-by failed to react.

"If it is true, then it is outrageous," Rigole's mother told Het Nieuwsblad. "I took him off the street in India to give him a better life and now he dies here, on the street."

Prosecutors have reportedly already identified some of the people, with a spokesperson telling HLN that "the rest will follow."

Guilty negligence is punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year and a fine that can go up to €500.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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