Man left in coma by sucker-punch assault on Labor Day outside Short North bar has died

Gregory Coleman Jr., 37, who had been on life support since he was sucker-punched in a “vicious attack” against him by two men during a fight Sept. 5 outside a bar in Columbus’ Short North, has died, his family’s attorney announced Sunday evening.

Coleman’s family and loved ones, including his young daughter, were at his side Sunday morning when he died of his injuries as a result of the “senseless murder,” Columbus attorney Edward Hastie said in a statement.

“For the time being, his family is going to focus all of its energy to celebrate his life and mournhis passing,” Hastie said. “They ask for the utmost privacy so they can rally together for each other and his 9-year old daughter, Dakota.

“They are infinitely thankful for the outpouring of support and love directed to them by Greg’s many friends, coworkers, and the community as a whole. Greg touched many lives and his sudden and senseless death is heartbreaking for all who knew him.”

While the family mourns, Hastie urged the public to “focus all its efforts on bringing his killers to justice. It is essential that those responsible are brought out of hiding and immediately arrested.”

Two men charged in attacked remain at-large

Chrystian Foster, 32, and Dwayne Cummings, 28, have both been charged in warrants with attempted murder after police allege they assaulted Coleman and left him lying in the street, near death, Columbus police said. As a result of Coleman’s death, Columbus police homicide Det. Anthony Johnson said previously that the charges against the two men — who remained at-large Sunday — would be elevated to murder.

Sometime before 2:30 am on Labor Day, Sept. 5, Coleman, who was from the Northeast Side, was standing and eating on the sidewalk while talking to some women in front of the Julep Bar at 1014 North High St. when a man , whom police identified as Foster, came up to him and squared up with him to fight, according to court documents.

A graphic video taken by a witness and shared by Columbus police later in the day on Sept. 5 showed Coleman prepared to fight Foster, who is from North Linden. Foster appears to move forward toward Coleman, who backs up at first with his fists up. Coleman then fakes a right-hand punch toward Foster, who stumbles backward into a parked vehicle.

The video, which contains no audio, shows Coleman then dropping his fists and turning to his right just as Cummings, who had come up behind Coleman, sucker punching him in the face. Coleman falls backwards, striking his head on the street with his feet and calves still on the curb.

After Coleman falls to the ground, Foster stands over the motionless Coleman and slaps him at least twice before walking away. Cummings, who is from the East Side, then stands over Coleman and slaps him at least once before they leave him there.

Columbus police officers responded at 2:34 am to a report of an unresponsive male outside of a bar on North High Street and found the victim “partially lying in the street and on the sidewalk.”

“A few people were standing around, taking pictures and videos of the victim. The officers were unable to locate any witnesses to the incident,” city homicide detectives reported. The failure of witnesses to intervene in the fight or render immediate aid to Coleman has been criticized by friends and the general public in social media comments.

Coleman was transported to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in critical condition with skull fractures and brain bleeding. He had been on life support since the assault and police had indicated that it was not likely he would survive his injuries.

Coleman was a bartender in the Short North, according to family and a LinkedIn profile.

Detective Johnson said that the suspects were identified thanks to the circulation of videos of the assault on social media. Court documents show that the incident was filmed by several people and posted to social media.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Foster and Cummings is asked to contact Detective Johnson at 614-645-4488 or by email at ajohnson@columbuspolice.org. Tips can also be made anonymously to Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-TIPS (8477).

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Victim of assault by two men outside Short North bar has died

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