The family of a man who died after an incident in a York jeweller’s have paid tribute to their ‘gentle giant.’
Sam Diatta, 39, was taken to hospital after being restrained by a shop worker and members of the public at Mappin & Webb jewellers on Coney Street in York on Tuesday afternoon (26 July).
Today his family released a heartfelt tribute to sam. They said:
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our beloved son and brother Sam Diatta.
“Sam was a wonderful member of our family who will be greatly missed by us, his friends and family around the world.
“Sam was half Senegalese and his family in Senegal meant the world to him. He was a keen sportsman and supported both the England and Senegal football sides. He also played for York RI rugby team.
“Sam spent the first 9 years of his life living on Leeman Road and attended St Barnabas church and school.
“When we moved to Acomb Sam attended Poppleton Road primary school for two years, before heading to Manor C of E Secondary school, where he was a popular face in his year group.
“He belonged to Lidgett Grove church Cubs and Scouts and enjoyed camping.
The family statement continued: “Sadly, in his later teenage years Sam developed mental health issues which stayed with him throughout his life.
“A gentle giant, who was kind and generous and loved by all who met him. He had a strong Christian faith and with two others led the Christian Union at York College.
“As a young teenager he professed his faith in Jesus by being baptised at Acomb Baptist Church.
“We anticipate his funeral/thanksgiving service to be there at a date to be announced later.”
The family say that reading some reports and comments online that suggested that Sam was involved in a robbery had caused them great distress. They said: “This is incorrect information as confirmed by North Yorkshire Police and we respectfully ask that these rumours stop.
“Please can you respect our privacy moving forward.
“The Diatta Family”
Can you help the police with their investigation? If you witnessed the incident and have not yet come forward, please call 101 and ask for the Major Incident Team. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Please quote incident number 405 of 26 July.