Man hospitalized after fight outside downtown bar; suspect reportedly hit the wrong man

A man with a head injury who initially rejected help from Lawrence police on the street ended up in a Kansas City area hospital for his injuries. Now police are looking for a person they suspect of hitting him outside a downtown bar — even though he wasn’t the intended target.

A fight was reported about 1:35 a.m. Sunday outside 729 New Hampshire St. (that’s the address of Leroy’s Tavern), department spokeswoman Kim Murphree said, in an email. According to Murphree:

An officer spotted a man walking across the street holding a shirt to his head and asked him what happened and whether he needed help. That man wouldn’t answer, but another man with him told the officer they didn’t need help. A second officer also tried to talk to the apparent victim with the same results.

A witness from the bar told police that he and another person stopped a verbal altercation between two men, and the two walked away in different directions. Then the suspect turned back and tried to hit the man he’d argued with but ended up hitting the victim in the head instead.

Police eventually did talk to the victim by phone from a Kansas City area hospital, where he was admitted after being transferred from Lawrence. The victim, whose injuries weren’t life-threatening, said the suspect hit him in the face outside the bar. “He said he believed the suspect was trying to strike someone else, but hit him instead,” Murphree said.

Police are trying to identify the suspect in the case. He is described as a white male, approximately 6 feet 2 inches tall with a short beard described as a “5 o’clock shadow.” He was wearing a gray shirt and jeans. Anyone with information is asked to call Lawrence police at 785-832-7501.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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