27 Jan 2009

Man who died of stab wounds 'tried to stop fight'

12:16 pm on 27 January 2009

A 34-year-old man who died after being stabbed outside a Central Hawke's Bay hotel had tried to stop a gang member beating up a woman, Hastings police say.

Mark McCutcheon was found dead in his black Ford ute shortly after 7am on Saturday, off the side of State Highway 50 near Ongaonga 70km south-west of Napier.

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave de Lange said witnesses have told police the victim intervened as a patched gang member was assaulting a woman.

Residents of Ongaonga say they're still trying to come to terms with the fatal stabbing and are angry at what happened.

They describe Mark McCutcheon as a 'neat guy'.

Detectives working on the homicide inquiry are speaking to people who were at the hotel, particularly those who saw the altercation unfold.