Philadelphia Police Cracking Down After Fatal Beer Brawl

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The police commissioner has called for a city law requiring bars to report fights to 911 following a fatal melee sparked by a spilled beer at a ballpark pub.

Three people have been charged in the attack on David Sale Jr., who was beaten and kicked to death Saturday near Citizens Bank Park during a Phillies baseball game. He was part of a group ejected from a sports bar for fighting.

"We need to know about it when it's taking place," Commissioner Charles Ramsey said. "Then we can get officers there to see that something truly breaks up before it escalates."

Sale, 22, of Lansdale, was with a bachelor party at McFadden's, a bar attached to the stadium, during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Sale or another member of his party bumped into someone from another group and spilled some beer, police said.

The two groups started fighting, and McFadden's security guards ejected both -- about eight from the bachelor party and more than two dozen from the other group, which was affiliated with a bar in the city's Fishtown section.

The altercation continued in the streets and a nearby parking lot, where Sale had been pummeled and kicked unconscious by the time police arrived. He was pronounced dead at a hospital around 8 p.m.

Ramsey said Monday that the department has submitted a bill to City Council that would mandate bars call 911 after breaking up a fight or ejecting a patron. It's unclear if McFadden's employees called 911, though police said a witness did.

Francis Kirchner, 28, Charles Bowers, 35, and Jim Grove, 45, all of Philadelphia, face murder and conspiracy charges.

Sale's family released a statement through police Monday asking that reporters not contact them. "As you can imagine, this is a very tragic and difficult time for their family," the statement said.

The Phillies expressed their condolences but said the team would not comment further pending the investigation.

Kirchner declined to comment to reporters as he turned himself in shortly before 6 p.m. Monday. Bowers did not have a lawyer listed on court records. Grove's attorney, Scott DiClaudio, declined comment Tuesday.


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