Madison Police are investigating a bar fight that escalated into a violent beating outside a downtown tavern early Sunday morning that left a Madison man with life-threatening injuries.
According to a police report, a fight broke out at the Crave at 201 W. Gorham St. and moved to the intersection of State and Johnson Streets when three suspects confronted the 26-year-old victim around 1:54 a.m. The victim, who is not believed to be a student, suffered a blow to the head, causing him to fall to the ground and lose consciousness.
Police arrived and transported the victim to a local hospital where he is listed in critical condition. Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said police could have a homicide investigation on their hands if the victim succumbs to his injuries.
The victim is gravely ill with life-threatening head wounds,"" Verveer said. ""It sadly does not look very good.""
Verveer said police officials told him they were making good progress developing information on the three suspects involved in the beating. Police do not believe the beating was a random act and Verveer said it appeared the victim and suspects did not likely know one another. A Crave employee could not comment on the incident when contacted Sunday.
The beating occurred across the street from where a Madison man was stabbed to death Sept. 3 outside the Plaza Tavern, located at 319 N. Henry St. Justin Stout, 31, is awaiting trial on first-degree homicide charges after he allegedly killed 22-year-old Juan Bernal following a fight over music playing on the tavern's jukebox.
Despite the recent brutal bar fights in the downtown area, Verveer said violent crime has decreased in the Central District and incidents like the Plaza stabbing and Crave beating could have happened anywhere.
""Bar fights have been around forever and usually in comparison they don't amount to much,"" Verveer said. ""This one obviously is as '¦ potentially serious as you can get and all the more apparently troubling and tragic.""