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One Punch Kills Clancy’s Bar Patron James Tinsman; Bartender Faces Involuntary Manslaughter

Bartender arrested for assaultSEAL BEACH, California (August 2, 2017)  — One punch between two strangers has changed both of their lives.

James Tinsman, 46, of Seal Beach, was killed. Bartender Michael Meir, 32, is facing manslaughter charges for a single punch in the face with a closed fist that caused Tinsman to fall backwards and strike his head on the pavement, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

According to sources who wish to remain anonymous, Tinsman was allegedly thrown out of the Seal Beach bar prior to the incident, but kept kicking the door from the outside. Meir, who was socializing at the bar and not working, reportedly went outside to confront the man and delivered the fatal blow.

Police found Tinsman unconscious behind the bar at 111 Main Street on July 18. Paramedics rushed Tinsman to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, but he went into a coma and died the next day. By 3:30 a.m., police located Meir and arrested him on suspicion of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. Later his charges were upgraded to involuntary manslaughter and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury with an enhancement of causing great bodily injury (coma), the District Attorney’s office said in a report.  Meir faces up to nine years in jail if he is convicted. He is being held on $250,000 bail.

Fatal One Punch Incidents

So how does one punch end up killing a person? A single blow to the head my sever an artery, cause a brain bleed or coma and irreversible damage to a person’s brain. Unfortunately, while there are no specific statistics compiled here in the United States, there are many other cases involving a single fatal blow to the head.

A fatal blow in Wilsonville, Oregon is strikingly similar to the one in Seal Beach. The attack took place between two strangers at Wankers Corner Saloon and Cafe on June 25, 2016. A single sucker punch from Jorge Keymolen, 29, delivered to Randy Pigeon, 46, caused fatal injuries. The impact of the blow caused Pigeon to fall back and hit his head on concrete. He later died from his head injury at the hospital about a month later. Keymolen was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for the fatal attack.

In Las Vegas, on April 30, 2017, Luis Campos, a 45-year-old La Puente father of three, was fatally punched in a single blow on a sidewalk outside the Vanguard Lounge on the Las Vegas Strip by ex-felon James Michael Beach, 27. Surveillance video shows the victim had his hands in his pockets and did not physically provoke a fight with Beach. The video also captured the blow and is being used as evidence against Beach who was arrested and has been charged with manslaughter.

There are times when a single fatal punch to an unprovoked victim can result in murder charges. That was the case when a man punched 34-year-old Clint Ali at Jack’s Bar and Grill in Braselton. Ali was sucker punched by David Digiacomo as he stood at the jukebox selecting songs. Digiacomo is seen in a video surveillance coming up behind the victim and delivering the blow to his neck and head area.

In regard to the Seal Beach case here in Orange County, the District Attorney’s office has stated that Meir was a bartender at Clancy’s, but was not working at the time of the fight. However, although he was not on the clock, it appears he may have taken it upon himself to get involved by stepping up as a bouncer. This raises the question as to whether Clancy’s had adequate security to handle a situation such as this one involving a customer who may be intoxicated. The bar may share liability for the loss to Tinsman’s family.

The criminal charges against Meir include involuntary manslaughter which is causing the death of a person by acts that posed a high risk of death or a great bodily injury in the way in which it was committed. While Meir may not have intended to kill Tinsman, prosecutors will aim to prove that his actions were done with conscious disregard for human life. To convict Meir, the DA’s office will have to prove that Meir’s actions were done recklessly in a way that created a high risk of death or great bodily injury to his victim and that any reasonable person would not known the potential consequences of his actions.

Legal Help for Victims

If you or a loved one were assaulted and or you have suffered a loss, it’s advisable that you obtain legal help. It’s important to understand that a family has the right to a separate civil lawsuit to claim monetary damages in cases involving assault and battery, murder or manslaughter due to criminal actions. A government entity or a business may be held liable under certain conditions as well as the attacker. Johnson Attorneys Group handles cases such as these and can identify all liable parties who may be held at fault. Contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION at 800-235-6801.

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