EYEWITNESSES claim police attempted to handcuff a man after he was hit by a police car.

Arthur Holscher-Ermert was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on the A259 in Peacehaven on Saturday, April 30.

Police said a 27-year-old man who was in the road sustained serious injuries after colliding with a police vehicle near the junction of Dorothy Avenue.

“Despite the best efforts of paramedics and responders, he died at the scene,” a police spokesman said.

An eyewitness, who was having a cigarette outside a pub 200 feet away, said he saw police try to handcuff Arthur as he lay face down in a pool of his own blood.

“A black BMW and a blue Audi came round the corner and straight away I said, ‘there’s the Old Bill’. Their blue lights came on and the BMW hit this bloke,” he said.

“They must’ve been going about 30mph. The bloke was halfway across the road.”

The Argus: Flowers and tributes in memory of Arthur Holscher-Ermert in Peacehaven Flowers and tributes in memory of Arthur Holscher-Ermert in Peacehaven

The witness, who gave his name as Matt, said he and his friends ran to find the man lying in the road as police restrained him, before filming the incident.

“He was rolling around on the floor in pain and in shock. There was a pool of blood around him, and they were still trying to cuff him.

“My friend held his head until he died. I had to stop filming because the guy just died in front of me.

“I felt sick that night and couldn’t sleep.”

In one video, it sounds like Arthur can be heard crying out in pain. In another, a man can be heard shouting: “You’ve killed the man, you’ve killed the man.”

A source close to Arthur said he was suspected of having been driving without insurance.

Sussex Police have not directly addressed the account of using handcuffs.

But the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it is now gathering dash cam and body cam footage as it works to establish “all the facts” from the tragedy.


The Argus: A man was killed after being hit by a police car on the A259 in Peacehaven on Saturday, April 30 A man was killed after being hit by a police car on the A259 in Peacehaven on Saturday, April 30

Another man who was close-by, who gave his name as Jason, said: “I know he was driving without insurance and one or two unmarked police cars were chasing him.

“I don’t care what anybody has done, it doesn’t give them the right. At the moment, people are very angry."

In a heartfelt tribute, Karl Holscher-Ermert called for justice for his brother.

“It’s beyond belief. It’s like something out of a movie, none of it feels real. It doesn’t make any sense how he has ended up dead.

“We will pursue it, we will go as long as it takes and get to the bottom of it.

“Rest easy up there my boy. Look after mum and make sure you give her a big squeeze from me.”

Police said as the incident involved a police vehicle, the matter has been referred to the IOPC, who will carry out an independent investigation.

Following the incident, Chief Superintendent Jo Banks said: “This is a tragic incident, and we are fully supporting the IOPC investigation.

“We want to thank drivers and residents for their patience while the A259 South Coast Road was closed.”

An IOPC spokesman said: “We have begun an independent investigation into police actions prior to a fatal road traffic collision involving a pedestrian. A man in his 20s sadly died at the scene.

“We were notified of the incident by Sussex Police and sent investigators to the scene and the police post incident procedures to begin our enquiries. Our thoughts are with the man’s family at this time.”

Police are urging anyone with information or dash cam footage of the incident to email collision.appeal@sussex.police.uk quoting Operation Ambleside.