Cape Town cop moonlighting as bouncer says man who allegedly killed Swedish volunteer was intoxicated
A Table View man who allegedly knocked down and killed 19-year-old Swedish volunteer Aksel Otterbeck in 2016 had been aggressive and displayed all the signs of an intoxicated person before getting into his vehicle and driving off from a restaurant, the Cape Town Regional Court heard on Wednesday.
This was according to Sergeant Elton Luyt, who allegedly saw Darryl Futter at the Doodles Beachfront restaurant at around 20:30 on December 14, 2016 before the incident.
Luyt has been with the police force for 17 years and works as a detective in Kraaifontein.
At the time, he had been working as a doorman/bouncer on the side to earn extra money, with the permission of his employer.
One of his duties was to make sure patrons did not leave the restaurant with liquor.
He testified that he was standing on the staircase at the exit and saw two white men leaving the pub.
One of them was carrying a glass of beer in his left hand and he confronted him to tell him he could not leave with it.
Luyt apparently took the glass from him and the man "became very aggressive".
Prosecutor Ebrahim Adams asked if the man was in court.
"He is sitting in the accused box. At the time, his hair was longer than it is now," replied Luyt, looking towards a seated Futter, who was sporting short strawberry-blonde hair.
Sitting in the public gallery behind Futter was Otterbeck's father, Jesper, and other family members who had flown in from Sweden on Tuesday night.
Luyt said that Futter's friend tried to calm him down and stop him at the time.
"He (Futter) swung at me with his closed fist the first time. He was aiming towards my face and I blocked with my left hand."
'He was heavily intoxicated'
He said Futter used a variety of swearwords and was swaying and unstable on his feet.
His eyes were bloodshot and his speech was slurred, said Luyt.
"Because I deal with plenty of people who are intoxicated, from my experience, I could see this guy wasn't sober and that is why I didn't even pay attention to the swing he took because, according to me, he was heavily intoxicated."
Luyt said he decided to walk away because Futter was not worth his time and effort.
When his friend went to fetch his car, Futter apparently returned to Luyt, came up to his face and swore at him.
He then allegedly threw a second punch, but Luyt blocked him.
'His wheels were spinning'
Luyt said instinct kicked in. He pushed Futter with minimum force and he fell to the floor onto the right-hand side of his face.
"He took his phone and said: 'You will see, I am going to phone my lawyer'."
Luyt said a white vehicle pulled up and Futter briefly got in to talk to his friend. He then exited the vehicle and got into a silver VW Polo.
Otterbeck's father shook his head slowly in court.
"All I know is that when he left his wheels were spinning and he drove off [at] high speed."
Someone approached him shortly after to say, "a guy had just killed somebody".
Lawyer disputing alternative charge
Luyt said he had personally made between 50 and 100 arrests for drunk driving.
During his short stint as a doorman, he said a lot of people with signs of intoxication had used taxi services to go home.
"If a person is too drunk, we let them sleep in the car and when the club closes, we wake them up."
Futter pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of culpable homicide, driving under the influence of alcohol (alternatively, exceeding the breath alcohol limit of 0.24mg/1000ml), reckless and/or negligent driving and two counts of assault.
His lawyer, Keith Gess, said that with the alternative charge, they were disputing that the prescribed equipment was used to test the alcohol content of Futter's breath; that the device used had been set up properly by the operator; that the device used is an accurate device for the purpose for which it has been manufactured; and that it worked accurately at the time of testing.
The trial continues.