Family of Australian tourist killed in San Francisco flying to Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Relatives of an Australian tourist are flying to the Bay Area in hopes of finding out what led up to his violent death at a hotel in San Francisco.

Matthew Bate was visiting San Francisco with three other friends from Australia. They were returning to their rooms at the Da Vinci Villa after celebrating the Warriors win in Game 1 of the NBA Finals at around 2 a.m. Friday morning.

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Bate got into an argument as he walked away, and his family believes he was sucker punched.

The 33 year old hit the ground, and died a short time later.

Police were quick to respond. They searched the hotel and found a lead on the third floor.

"At least four Hispanic men were thrown on the ground in front of our room. I watched out the peep hole for about an hour they were asking them questions, ended up handcuffing them," witness Adriana Jimenez said.

Police formally arrested one of those men Saturday.

Bate's family released a statement saying, "We want to remember Matt as someone who lived to the fullest. He had a lot of friends who will miss him dearly."

Bates was an analytic chemist, and arrived in San Francisco a few days ago.

His family is still struggling with the details and with the possibility that the he may have died from something that has been plaguing Australia for years.

"They used to call it a 'king punch,' and now they call it 'a coward punch.' And it's something they're really trying to stamp out," tourist Lucy Cuddihy said.

The one punch can kill campaign is educating Australians about the dangers of sucker, or coward punches.

Laws have even gotten tighter as a result.

San Francisco police have still not released the suspect's name or charges.
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