Adam McCloud dies after Stillwater bar fight; Police sign off on murder charges
Adam McCloud, the 29-year-old hospitalized after a bar fight in Stillwater last week, died Thursday from injuries sustained by a blow to the head.
Photo: Caring Bridge page for Adam McCloud (right).
Last Friday, McCloud was out with friends at Smalley's Caribbean and Pirate Bar in downtown Stillwater. Around 2 a.m., he got into a scuffle with another bar-goer, and was punched "two or three times," sending him crashing backwards to the floor, police say. McCloud sustained a severe head injury from the fall, and was brought to the nearby Lakeview Hospital, later transferred to Regions.
Days after the arrest, police arrested 22-year-old Eric Richard as a suspect in the case. Stillwater police have signed off on a criminal complaint charging Richard with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, says Linda Thompson, security dispatcher for the police department.
Thompson was not sure if the Washington County Attorney had filed the complaint, and calls to the prosecutor's office were not returned.
Though police say Richard threw several punches, the case is similar to what's often called a "one-punch homicide." These incidents generally follow an almost identical pattern: Two strangers meet at a bar. One throws a punch that knocks the other over, and the fatal blow is delivered not by a fist, but the ground.
"That's by far the most likely source of injury," homicide expert D.P. Lyle told City Pages in an interview on one-punch homicides last summer. "They get knocked unconscious and they hit the ground like the parachute didn't open."
These tragedies often become sticky legal matters, as in the case of the Stillwater incident. The night of the altercation, police believed McCloud had only suffered minor injuries, and didn't make an arrest. They didn't take Richard into custody until the following Monday, when McCloud's condition had grown worse.
McCloud was in critical condition until Thursday afternoon, when he died in the hospital. On a CaringBridge site for McCloud, this message was posted around 5 p.m.:
"Matthew 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted... " (Jesus' words)"