34-year-old man arrested in Christmas morning death of Chelsea bouncer

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, January 13, 2023
Man arrested in Christmas morning death of bouncer
Police arrested Earl Gumbs, a man they believe delivered a punch that ultimately killed 61-year-old Duane Patterson, a bouncer at a bar in Chelsea.

CHELSEA, Manhattan (WABC) -- Police have arrested a man they believe delivered a punch that ultimately killed a 61-year-old bouncer on Christmas Eve.

Earl Gumbs, 34, was arrested on Thursday around 4 p.m. and charged with manslaughter and assault.

Police believe Gumbs was the suspect seen in surveillance video the night of the attack.

Duane Patterson was working at a bar in Chelsea when he got into a fight with a customer, was punched in the face and died days later. Lucy Yang has more.

He's accused of punching Duane Patterson, who was a bouncer at Billy Mark's West bar on the corner of 9th Avenue and West 29th Street in Chelsea.

As the night slid into the early morning hours of Christmas Eve, good cheer and peace were suddenly eclipsed by violence.

The owner of the bar told Eyewitness News reporter Lucy Yang that the assault happened during closing time. All the other customers were peacefully leaving when the attacker tried to come in.

Police believe Gumbs punched Patterson in the face, causing the bouncer to fall back and strike his head on the hard pavement below. He never woke up.

Patterson suffered a skull fracture and brain damage. He was in a coma for four days but died from his injuries.

Patterson served eight years as a staff sergeant in the Air Force. The veteran left behind his wife of 26 years, their daughter and countless customers, who were all heartbroken.

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"Duane was a special man," customer John Campbell said. "He had a gift from God to make weird people like me feel comfortable."


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