The Center City bar bouncer who allegedly punched a patron who later died of his injuries surrendered to police Thursday afternoon.
The bouncer, Kenneth Frye, is charged with third-degree murder in the death of Eric Pope, who was knocked out while being escorted out of Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar on April 16, police said. After Pope was hit, police said, his head struck the ground and he was taken to Jefferson University Hospital in critical condition. Pope, 41, died Saturday, a week later.
Frye turned himself in at 2:20 p.m. Thursday at the Philadelphia Public Services Building on North Broad Street, police said.
Police announced Wednesday afternoon that an arrest warrant had been issued for Frye, 24, of Philadelphia.
District Attorney Larry Krasner’s victim-witness coordinator as well as a member of his LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee have been in contact with Pope’s family and offering supportive services, Krasner spokesperson Jane Roh said in a statement.
Police had previously said that Frye escorted Pope out of the bar, at 254 S. 12th St., shortly before 1 a.m. on April 16 for being intoxicated. Once outside of the bar, Frye punched Pope in the head, knocking him unconscious and causing him to injure his head when he fell, police said.
Video obtained by Fox 29 shows that bouncers eventually dragged Pope to the sidewalk and left him unattended as bystanders gathered.
One of the owners of Tabu, Jeffrey Sotland, previously told The Inquirer that Frye was not an employee of the bar, and worked for an outside firm, Mainline Private Security.
At the time, Sotland did not identify Frye or provide additional details on the incident, but said that it was the first time Tabu had run into issues with the security company. The company supplies bouncers to a variety of popular nightlife venues across the city.
Court filings show that Mainline has been sued a dozen times since 2020, frequently over bouncers’ alleged use of force or failure to summon medics in response to injuries. At least one of those lawsuits involved another Center City bar that shares an owner with Tabu.
Friends and family gathered for a candlelight vigil Wednesday night for Pope in Philadelphia’s Kahn Park. Holding candles, Pope’s loved ones huddled near one another, backed by collages of photos of Pope.