A man described as an ardent Alabama football fan has died of injuries he suffered in a Louisiana bar after the Crimson Tide’s victory over LSU.
Robert Bowers, 46, died Tuesday of injuries he suffered being beaten and knocked unconscious early Sunday morning by two men at the Ponchatoula Pub, according to Ponchatoula police. He had been on life support. Ryan Anthony, 24, of Albany, La., and Azia Crockett, 27, of Ponchatoula, turned themselves in to police; each man was booked on felony manslaughter charges at the Tangipahoa Parish Jail in Amite, police said. Anthony had married Crockett’s sister hours before the incident, Police Chief Bry Layrisson told Nola.com.
Although Bowers, a Louisiana resident, was a Crimson Tide fan, police indicated that the fight was not over the Saturday night football game. “We really don’t know what started the verbal argument,” Layrisson said, telling the Advocate that Crockett and Bowers were arguing when Anthony “blindsided” the Alabama fan. Bowers’s daughter, Alexandria, said that she had gone to the bar to watch the game with her father, boyfriend and a female cousin, but that she left early.
Alexandria Bowers told Nola.com that witnesses said the fight started when someone took issue with the cousin’s interaction with a woman at the bar. The cousin was escorted out by security before the incident, according to Layrisson. Anthony allegedly struck Bowers, who fell to the floor and was unconscious, before Crockett allegedly struck Bowers a number of times, according to Layrisson.
A volunteer firefighter in the bar performed CPR on Bowers, an RV technician who formerly played semipro football and lived in Ponchatoula. The family used a #rolltideforrobert hashtag to solicit donations for medical expenses. In addition to his daughter, he is survived by a son.
“My father is an amazing person that cared for everyone and helped so many in need and he deserves to be recognized and have justice for what these men have done to him,” his daughter told Nola.com before his death.
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