VERO BEACH — A fight outside a bar between two men that left one critically hurt and in an unresponsive state and another with an attempted murder charge might have been provoked by the victim, reports show.
The victim – who suffered “bleeding on the brain” and a broken eye socket – was taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce, reports show. A nurse told officers if the victim recovered, he would never be the same, according to court documents.
Police on Tuesday arrested Christopher Browning, 32, of the 800 block of 9th Street Southwest, on a charge of attempted second-degree murder. The incident unfolded about 2 a.m. Nov. 11 at Filthy’s Fine Cocktails & Beer, 1238 16th Street.
The owner of the bar told police that Browning was a regular patron and never caused any problems. A staff member said the victim was “provoking” Browning inside the bar before the outside fight, reports show.
“As I was working, I look up and see a large bald male bumping his chest into a regular I know as Chris,” the staff member told officers. “I walked around the bar to get involved. The (victim) disregarded everything I said and proceeded to try and provoke (Browning).”
Security removed the victim from the bar.
Video footage from the bar showed Browning and the victim exchanging words outside of the business. It was not immediately known what the two said to each other.
The victim followed Browning when Browning walked away from him, reports show.
Browning then turned around and punched the victim several times, knocking him to the ground. Police said Browning continued to beat the victim – who was unresponsive – and then left the scene.
Police responded to the incident and saw the victim slumped over the sidewalk with blood all over his face, reports show.
Officers on Tuesday arrested Browning on a warrant.
Browning remained Wednesday at the Indian River County Jail on $150,000 bond. Browning has an arraignment at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 19, court records show.