'Shattered' family speaks of loss
Sandro Cassai, uncle of the man who died after an assault in Rye, tells 3AW his nephew David was 'a gift to us all'.PT2M16S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2c3rx 620 349 January 1, 2013
THE last thing David Cassai said to his Aunt Anita was not goodbye. In anticipation of their family's next gathering this month, he said: ''I'll bring the food, you do the cooking.''
They were instead reunited, along with about 15 other relatives, on Tuesday morning beside his bed at The Alfred hospital, having been told that the doctors could do nothing to save his life.
Late Tuesday two men were arrested in connection with Mr Cassai's death.
A man leaving custody. He is being questioned about the fight in Rye that resulted in the death of Davd Cassai. Photo: Penny Stephens
Homicide squad detectives arrested a 20-year-old Kilsyth man and a 22-year-old Yarra Junction man, who were helping them with their inquiries. They were released without charge.
Two more men were arrested on Wednesday morning. An 18-year-old from Millgrove and a 24-year-old from Kilsyth are currently assisting police with their inquiries.
Investigators still wish to speak to anyone who may have witnessed or who has further information in relation to the incident.
The sisters of brawl victim David Cassai, Elisa (left) and Luisa, shed tears on Channel Seven news.
David Cassai, 22, from Templestowe, was staying with friends at his parents' holiday house on the Mornington Peninsula when they were confronted by another group outside a pizza shop in Rye about 1am on Monday, police said.
He fell and struck his head on a concrete footpath. He died from his injuries about 4pm that day.
Anita, her husband Sandro Cassai and their children, drove all night from Adelaide, cutting short a family holiday, to see their nephew one last time.
Ambulance officers attend Mr Cassai.
Talking to Fairfax Media, they finished each other's sentences in an attempt to describe him, using words such as ''easy-going'', ''calm'', ''down to earth'', ''respected'' and ''great kid''.
''There's no way he would ever go looking for trouble or be a troublemaker or a thug. He was a good family boy,'' Sandro Cassai said. Even in death, too - he has donated his organs.
Ms Cassai chimed in: ''Loved eating good food. He used to love going to Nonna's house for all the home-made ravioli and lasagne.''
David had recently begun working as a landscaper having finished his apprenticeship.
He was also a fervent Collingwood supporter and played soccer.
''Having David around at gatherings was just like having an extra 20 lights switched on,'' Mr Cassai said.
David's parents were ''shattered'' by their son's death, with his father unable to speak since telling his family the news.
His two sisters, Luisa and Elisa, posted tributes on Facebook on Tuesday. Luisa described him as her ''superstar'' and ''idol''. ''Our family is so lucky to have such amazing friends', family and strangers' support,'' she wrote.
Elisa Cassai described her brother as a kind and caring joker who ''brought a smile to everyone's faces''.
Detective Inspector John Potter said CCTV footage captured the brawl and clearly showed the group of five men as the aggressors.
He said police were confident they would be able to identify those responsible for the violence and urged them to turn themselves in.
''Ultimately we're going to be able to identify you and it would be best if you came forward,'' Inspector Potter said.
Ms Cassai said she wanted to know what their motivations had been. ''I would like to know why. Why do these people do it and what satisfaction do they get out of it?''
With NINO BUCCI, AAP and CHRIS HINGSTON