A Key West bouncer was jailed after police said he knocked an unruly bar patron to the ground where he struck his head and was knocked unconscious.
The patron, Brett Lamar Howard, Jr., was immediately airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami with a brain bleed, according to the police report.
Nathan Daniel Rogers, 31, was arrested for felony battery after the incident at Rick’s Bar, 202 Duval St., on Feb. 4. He was released from the Stock Island Detention Center the next day.
Reached on his cell phone Tuesday, Rogers hung up on a reporter who called for comment.
At about 11:28 p.m., Rogers was escorting Howard and another man off the property when Howard turned around and punched Rogers, the head of security at Rick’s, in the face, police said surveillance video shows.
Howard began to run and Rogers shoved the other man out of the way and punched Howard in the face. Both fell to the ground.
But only one could get back up. Howard struck his head on the sidewalk and didn’t respond when paramedics arrived, police said.
“Howard did not regain consciousness,” wrote Key West Police Detective Darnell Sealey.
One of five witnesses said he saw blood coming out of Howard’s ear.
“Rogers said while Howard was being removed from the property, Howard was shouting racial slurs at him and trying to entice him into a fight,” Sealey wrote. Rogers admitted punching Howard in the face.
Rogers is white. The police report did not list Howard’s race.
“Rogers described the incident as an instinctive reaction after being punched,” Sealey wrote.
Rogers said Howard and the other man were being kicked out of the bar for an altercation they were having with another patron in the restroom.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen