Fugitive David Perry dies in police custody on Great Ocean Road


A man who died while in police custody on the Great Ocean Road on Friday night was a 35-year-old fugitive wanted over a violent knife attack in St Kilda less than 24 hours earlier.

On Saturday night, Victoria Police confirmed the man who had died shortly after he was arrested in Bellbrae had been formally identifed as David Perry.

On Friday afternoon, police issued a warrant for Mr Perry, for the charge of attempted murder, after a St Kilda resident was stabbed inside his Wellington Street apartment.

The victim, 32, was with a woman, and the pair were returning home to their apartment about 4am, when they were confronted by a knife-wielding intruder.

The man stabbed the victim numerous times in the arm and back before fleeing, while the woman, 25, was uninjured.

David Perry has died after he was arrested on the Great Ocean Road.

David Perry has died after he was arrested on the Great Ocean Road.Credit:Victoria Police

Just hours after police issued a warrant for Mr Perry, police were called to Bellbrae, in south-west Victoria after reports that a man on foot was acting erratically on the Great Ocean Road, near Hurst Road at about 7.30pm.

Mr Perry was arrested shortly after and then fell unconscious.

Emergency personal attempted to revive him but were unsuccessful.

A post mortem has been conducted to determine the cause of death.

The Homicide Squad will investigate the death with oversight from the Professional Standards Command, which is standard practice for all deaths in police custody.

Investigators believe Mr Perry received injuries to his abdomen during the assault on Friday morning, which put Wellington Street into lock down.

Police, including the heavily armed Critical Incident Response team, initially swarmed the Wellington Street scene early on Friday because they believed Mr Perry was still inside the apartment complex.

However, police later confirmed he had already fled the scene on foot. He was arrested more than 100 kilometres away.

It is understood Mr Perry also lived inside the St Kilda apartment building and had caused trouble for residents the evening before he stabbed his neighbour.

Fellow residents reported seeing him throw a trolley out a window and climb down the roof spouting on Wednesday evening.

The stabbing victim remains in The Alfred hospital in a stable condition.

Anyone with information or with footage is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au