WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4)– No charges will be filed in the death of a man who got into an altercation at a bar and was restrained by bouncers.
Police say 23-year-old Sammy Pickel was found unresponsive at Lodo’s Bar and Grill on March 12 in Westminster after becoming involved in a fight that was broken up by workers. His girlfriend said a man tried to pick a fight with Pickel and then four bouncers jumped on him, including one who held him in a chokehold.
The 17th Judicial District Attorney, Dave Young, announced Wednesday that he wouldn’t file any criminal charges in Pickel’s death because he didn’t think he could disprove that those involved acted in self-defense.
Pickel was 6-foot-5 and 375 pounds. Witnesses said when the bouncers tried to intervene, Pickel took a fighting stance and began swinging. That was captured on video that hasn’t been made public yet.
“One bouncer described him as a mountain. They all indicated that he was a huge man and there was no way one of them by themselves would have been able to restrain him,” said Young.
That fatal chokehold lasted anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes but it wasn’t captured on video.
Young said it might be a crucial piece of evidence that could show whether the bouncers were trying to defend themselves or if they were trying to hurt Pickel.
“The bouncers all indicated that they were in fear for their safety and the safety of the patrons in the bar,” said Young.
Young stated that Pickel’s size was a factor in the decision not to file charges.