Man dies after being punched by bouncer outside Center City bar

The incident happened at Tabu Bar and Lounge in Center City back on April 16.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Tabu Bar and Lounge in Center City Philadelphia is now at the center of an investigation after one of its patrons was assaulted outside the bar and later died.

"When you see the punch and the guy just hits the ground... it's devastating. And to know the man already passed, that made it worse," said a neighbor.

Neighbors say they heard and saw some of the commotion after the bar's bouncer allegedly punched a man so hard his head hit the ground and he went unconscious back on Saturday, April 16.

The victim, 41-year-old Eric Pope, died over the weekend from his injuries.

EMBED More News Videos

"I just can't fathom anyone hurting him because he's so good, so helpful and so honest. It's just difficult," said the family member of 41-year-old Eric Pope.



"I just can't fathom anyone hurting him because he's so good, so helpful and so honest. It's just difficult," said the victim's aunt, Bunny Conceiceo.

Conceiceo, who lives in Massachusetts, says their entire family is devastated.

"He cared about people, helped people. He was a school committee member for many years, and anybody that needed anything he was there to help them," said Conceiceo.

Pope's family wants justice.

Tabu says the bouncer was not an employee of the bar. Action News sources say he worked for a private security company.

In recent weeks, there have been other incidents at Center City bars involving the same security company, according to police reports obtained by Action News.

One incident was recorded on March 27 at 2:45 a.m. at Voyeur Nightclub.

"Security personnel for the Club beat up Complainant. The Complainant sustained broken hyoid bone...," the police report read.

A second incident happened on April 3 around 1 a.m. at U Bar.

"Security guard...choked and slammed the complainant to the ground. The complainant sustained a head injury," the police report from the April 3 incident read.

Tabu says it is cooperating with Philadelphia police. Action News is told the bouncer who allegedly threw the punch is cooperating with police.

Tabu's management released a statement saying, "When the unconscious individual was reported to our management, we immediately called 911 and sought assistance."

District Attorney Larry Krasner's office is currently reviewing what charges could be brought regarding Pope's death, including possible homicide charges.

"I am aware of the situation. My information is... I had information about the punch itself and the very severe injuries that followed even before the victim of that punch passed away," Krasner said.

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.