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Emily Welker, Published June 21 2013

Fargo police forward reports to prosecutors in death of strip club patron

FARGO – The case of a man who died after being struck down by a bouncer outside the city’s only strip club has been forwarded to the Cass County State’s Attorney for possible criminal charges.

Sgt. Jason Nelson said Friday that Fargo police forwarded the case to county prosecutors within the last couple of days.

Nelson said the charging recommendations included a range of possibilities that include a possible charge of manslaughter.

Nelson said he could not release the name of the individual against whom charges were being sought.

“We’ll let the State’s Attorney review it and see if any charges are appropriate,” he said.

Christopher Barr, 38, died in Sanford Medical Center on May 7 from what an autopsy later showed was a blunt head injury. He was hospitalized April 13 after being kicked out of the Northern Gentleman’s Club.

Police were called to the strip club for medical assistance at 10:51 p.m. A search warrant filed in Cass County District Court stated that Barr was lying on his back in the club’s south parking lot and told a police officer a bouncer was responsible.

A staffer told police he grabbed Barr and escorted him to the parking lot after Barr, drunk and belligerent, refused to leave when asked. He’d already been kicked out of the bar once earlier in the day, staff told police investigators.

The employee from the Northern told police Barr took a swing at him in the parking lot, and he pushed him in self-defense.

Police didn’t open a criminal investigation until May 3, when they heard from hospital officials Barr’s condition was deteriorating and he was likely to die.

Deputy Chief Pat Claus has said police did not open an investigation previously because Barr was uncooperative, and unwilling to provide information.

Barr’s family has hired a private investigator for a possible civil lawsuit related to his death.

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