EXCLUSIVE: Bar manager arrested fort putting bar patron in coma breaks his silence
6:54 PM, Oct 1, 2013
9:31 AM, Oct 2, 2013
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - In an exclusive interview with ABC Action News, General Manager of Suite Six Bar and Lounge, Blake Ambrester broke his silence after being accused of putting one of his bar patrons, Jeremy Fisher, in a coma.
"It was very unfortunate he sustained those injuries, but it was not because of my actions or any of my staff members." said Ambrester from the office of his attorney Rohom Khonsari.
Ambrester and Khonsari shared the surveillance video they said help clear Ambrester of felony battery charges.
Khonsari said the video along with witness statements led to prosecutors decision not to file charges against Ambrester.
Ambrester said it was around 2:30 in the morning on June 30th when Fisher approached one of his female waitresses.
"I was only a few feet away and I saw that Mr. Fisher was physically and verbally harassing her, she grabbed me and said Blake will you please get this guy out of here because he won't leave us alone," said Ambrester.
Ambrester said Fisher refused to leave so he wrapped his arms around Fisher and escorted him out.
In a tearful interview from his hospital room, Fisher's wife told Action News the bar manager put her husband in a choke hold and dumped his body on the sidewalk outside the bar. Jeremy Fisher, a sports video editor from Miami, had been at a Rays game earlier when he and friends decided to go to Suite Six. According to Ambrester, what Fisher's wife said is not what happened.
"As I got to the front door, I let him go, when I let him go, he took one step and fell flat on his face," he said.
"When he fell he did not even hold his arms out, he fell hard and I saw a police officer so I called out to him."
Detectives later determined, Fisher had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system. Police viewed the video that night and interviewed witnesses. They decided not to charge Ambrester.
But that changed two days later when investigators discovered Fisher was in a coma and suffering from a fractured skull. They also learned Ambrester had been a bouncer in college and had served time for a felony battery conviction. Fisher's family said Ambrester should never have been hired in the first place.
"I knew going into this case that was going to be something we had to deal with," said Khonsari.
"I understand there was an uproar from Mr. Fisher's family immediately after this happened, understandably because of the injuries and the injuries alone. But what Blake did in this case, what Suite Six did in this case was not a crime."
But, if prosecutors had decided to take this to trial and found Ambrester guilty, he would have faced a minimum 15 years in prison because of his past. Despite that fear of going back to prison, Ambrester stands by his actions.
"I would not change a single thing that I did. My number one goal is to protect the patrons and the staff of my club and I did that," said Ambrester.
Action News tried reaching out to Fisher's family.
A friend told us, he is back in Miami and out of a coma after spending two weeks in a Pinellas County hospital.
Khonsari said the Fisher family has filed a civil lawsuit against Suite Six Bar and Lounge.