Adams County’s district attorney announced Wednesday he will not charge a bar bouncer in the death of a Denver man after an incident March 12 at LoDo’s Bar and Grill in …
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Adams County’s district attorney announced Wednesday he will not charge a bar bouncer in the death of a Denver man after an incident March 12 at LoDo’s Bar and Grill in Westminster.
Dave Young, top prosecutor of the 17th Judicial District, said in a news release April 6 he has completed a review of an incident that led to the death of 23-year-old Sammy Pickel at a Westminster bar.
In a news conference with reporters following the email news release, Young said Pickel — who was 6-foot-5-inches and weighed 370 pounds — died after a bouncer attempted to restrain him from harming others at LoDo’s Bar and Grill in Westminster, following a physical altercation at the bar on March 12. The case was presented to the DA’s office March 31 by the Westminster Police Department.
According to a news release from Young’s office, “after considering all reasonable defenses, there (must be) sufficient evidence that a crime was committed that can be proven beyond a doubt in a jury trial.
“The District Attorney has declined the filing of criminal charges in this case based on the unlikelihood of success of disproving self-defense in this matter beyond a reasonable doubt,” concluded the news release.
Young in his meeting with reporters further discussed the process involved in making the decision not to file charges.
“With 24-plus years of experience as a prosecutor, I look at what is the right thing to do,” Young said. “It’s easy to say ‘File charges and let the jury decide.’ But we have to determine what we can prove and not prove beyond a reasonable doubt, and the filing decision needs to be based on that.”
The cause of the incident remains unclear, with televised news reports offering varying accounts of the moments leading up to when Pickel was placed in a chokehold by the LoDo’s Bar and Grill bouncer.
Pickel became unconscious and went into cardiac arrest, according to police. He was transported to North Suburban Medical Center, where he went into a coma. Pickel’s family removed the life support after three days.
More information about the case is to be released at a later date by the DA’s office, according to Westminster Police spokeswoman Cheri Spottke.
“All of that is going to be released by the DA’s office,” she said. “They are wanting to make sure the family has had time to look over everything before it's released.”
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