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Emily Welker, Published May 28 2013

Autopsy: Strip club patron died from head injury

FARGO – Police here say a preliminary medical examiner’s report on the cause of death for a man knocked down by a bouncer outside the city’s only strip club shows the man died from blunt head injury.

Deputy Chief Pat Claus said Tuesday the investigation remains open into the death of 38-year-old Christopher Barr and would not release further details, including the manner of death or whether Barr had alcohol or drugs in his system.

Barr had already been kicked out of the Northern Gentleman’s Club the night of April 13 when police were called there for medical assistance at 10:51 p.m. Barr, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in Cass County District Court, was lying on his back in the club’s south parking lot, and told a police officer that a bouncer was responsible.

A Northern employee told the officer that Barr had been drunk, belligerent and disrespectful to club staff members and had refused to leave when asked. The staffer told police he grabbed Barr and took him to the parking lot and as Barr took a swing at him, pushed him in self-defense.

Claus has said police did not open an investigation at that point because Barr was uncooperative and unwilling to provide information. He was taken by ambulance to Sanford Medical Center.

Police didn’t open a criminal investigation until May 3, upon hearing from Sanford officials that Barr’s condition was deteriorating and he would likely die. He died at the hospital May 7.

Barr’s family has hired a private investigator for a possible civil lawsuit related to his death, police claim in the affidavit for a search warrant to seize security video from the strip club.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541