Cactus Flats Death (copy)

Cactus Flats bar north of Frederick.

No charges will be filed in the November death of a man who was involved in a fight outside Cactus Flats bar north of Frederick, according to a press release issued Wednesday by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

While the death of 45-year-old Woodsboro resident Robert Alan Swann Jr. was initially ruled a homicide, an autopsy conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore determined that Swann died when he was being restrained by several people outside the bar who were trying to stop him from fighting at around 10:40 p.m. Nov. 2, according to the release.

The sheriff’s office also determined that Swann, who was intoxicated at the time, was the aggressor in the fight, which began with Swann being asked to leave the bar for arguing with and threatening other patrons and staff. The argument turned physical in the parking lot when Swann threatened several people with a knife, according to Wednesday’s release.

The knife was taken from Swann, who repeatedly tried to re-enter the bar despite being led away from the establishment into the northern parking area. Swann and another man fell to the ground during a second “physical altercation,” according to the release. When Swann again tried to stand up and return to the bar, three patrons who weren’t involved in the initial altercations stepped in to restrain him.

Calls and an email to a Frederick County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman as well as separate attempts to reach an agency commander for comment were not returned Wednesday afternoon.

Swann’s role in instigating the violence, combined with the fact that his death was caused by a medical emergency that resulted from him being restrained, led detectives to determine criminal charges were not appropriate, according to the release. The autopsy also determined that Swann had hypertensive cardiovascular disease.

“Detectives reviewed the case with the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office, and it was determined that no evidence exists to warrant criminal charges,” the release states in part.

Swann was accompanied by his girlfriend, who was directed to retrieve his car to drive him home by the patrons who were restraining Swann. When the girlfriend returned with the car about a minute later, Swann became unresponsive and one patron immediately began CPR in an attempt to revive him, according to the release.

Deputies and later emergency medical personnel also took up CPR efforts, but Swann was ultimately pronounced dead. While the release mentioned that Swann did suffer several blunt force injuries, the medical examiner’s office determined that none of those injuries were life-threatening and none of them contributed to his death.

Follow Jeremy Arias on Twitter: @Jarias_Prime.

Jeremy Arias is the Frederick city and government reporter for The Frederick News-Post.

(53) comments

KellyAlzan

So after a lot of persistence, we finally got some word on the cactus murder!

Now, we need to get a follow up on the Santos lawsuit payout. My job here is never done!

KR999

Your annoying badgering had nothing to do with it. Think it did? OK then, badger them into a Santos settlement follow up. Let's just see how far you get.....[lol][lol][lol]

BunnyLou

I read the article and bet that you’d be the first commenter on the article, but lost the bet on the fact that you didn’t put any hate on Sheriff Jenkins.

KellyAlzan

It was never about any Sherf. Try to follow along :)

Lev928

I love reading the comments from all of the detectives with Internet and TV degrees on policing and forensics. lololol

KR999

Yeah, and a Cracker Jacks law degree like KAQ has! [lol][lol][lol]

sevenstones1000

“Swann died when he was being restrained by several people”. OK, what is the actual cause of death? If it is a stroke or heart attack, that is not stated. “Restraint” is not a cause of death unless, as we have seen elsewhere, his trachea was crushed. This is a horribly written article. What caused this man to die?

KellyAlzan

Choke hold?

sevenstones1000

Yes, that would be death by asphyxiation. But that is not given as the cause of death. No cause of death is given

KellyAlzan

Yep. And imagine drunks trying to man handle the dude. Pretty sure it’s safe to speculate on how that played out.

mgoose806

Why is this a lead story... a middle aged drunk has a heart attack in the parking lot of bar. Is there an under lying story that I'm missing designed to discredit the Sheriff's Department?

sevenstones1000

Where does it say he had a heart attack?

WalkTheTown

I'm still struggling to understand how you rule a death a homicide -- the intentional infliction of death -- and yet charge no one involved? Also, the description in this article doesn't indicate that it should be a homicide. Isn't an unintentional death (through restraint) considered manslaughter? This situation makes no sense.

saogirl52

The intentional infliction of death is murder. Manslaughter, i think, requires the "doer" to be doing something illegal, whether or he intended the victim to die. Maybe the restrainers here were doing nothing illegal; they could have been trying to prevent the victim from further hurting himself or someone else. The medical examiner couldn't determine intent of the "doer" here. Medical examiner is limited in determining how someone dies--homicide, suicide, accidental, illness, or undermined. That's my best guess.

sonomals6

Article is poorly written. The coroner ruled the death a homicide on the scene of the death based upon what they seen. However after the body was checked throughly at an autopsy by, usually a doctor, they ruled it not to be a homicide but an accidental death.

Dwasserba

Must be rewarding to have your work slammed in such a finely written comment.

KellyAlzan

Some drinks in their 40’s and 50’s forget they’re not 27 anymore and think they’re super man. Now, if you’re in good cardio vascular shape - then, yes, you most likely can handle yourself. But, being overweight, lack regular physical exercise, you’re going to get winded and place a lot of stress on the old ticker. It’s like when men die shoveling snow.

cindy62060

Seems you missed the key word in the sentence about homicide, initially. Seems that if he would have stopped trying to get back into the bar, he would have been okay.

sevenstones1000

Restraint is not a cause of death. Asphyxiation is a cause of death. Was he asphyxiated?

KellyAlzan

I’m thinking yes.

KR999

You need to learn the definition of "homicide;" "Although the term homicide is sometimes used synonymously with murder, homicide is broader in scope than murder. Murder is a form of criminal homicide; other forms of homicide might not constitute criminal acts. These homicides are regarded as justified or excusable. For example, individuals may, in a necessary act of Self-Defense, kill a person who threatens them with death or serious injury, or they may be commanded or authorized by law to kill a person who is a member of an enemy force or who has committed a serious crime. Typically, the circumstances surrounding a killing determine whether it is criminal. The intent of the killer usually determines whether a criminal homicide is classified as murder or Manslaughter and at what degree." https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/homicide

sevenstones1000

So, death by restraint? Sounds like a nice bar. I assume it’s been closed down since this murder.

sonomals6

Open and business is booming! Has been ever since! Having a beer and listening to karaoke right now at this moment here ☺️👍🏼 Because an individual chooses to get drunk and act a fool and get themself kicked out of the establishment, and then continues to act a fool, has zero connection to the bar being closed down. Glad your not an elected official. That mentality, More than Half the county would be shut down because of “deaths”. 😒 Or as you inaccurately state, “murder”. No one was “Murdered”. Unless you have a law degree and police and detective experience and are discrediting the sheriffs department?

WalkTheTown

An explosion couldn't close Cactus Flats. People would show up around the debris expecting their favorite beverage to be poured. They would all gather to build it back exactly as it was before.

sevenstones1000

So what killed the man? Death by restraint? Nice clientele.

Joeseamhead

No, it’s still open.Why should it be closed. The establishment did nothing wrong.

ScrewyLouie

Kelly’s show starts soon. Sit back grab some popcorn! LOL

KR999

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

gabrielshorn2013

So, will FNP's favorite, most popular, and lead commentator accept the finding?

elad_mount

Haha! Came here just to see that too. And no. No way.

MrSniper

I’ll have a go...it is really unlikely that a 45 year old man with high blood pressure dies from a beating and “being restrained” and no one gets charged. If that doesn’t arouse one’s suspicions, I don’t know what would.

sonomals6

“High Blood Pressure”, the simple poor mans term for Hypertensive cardiovascular disease, actually is VERY common, including in a 45 year old man. He actually would be more apt to have it as those over 41 are more at risk. Couple that with heavy alcohol use and you only intensify the problem. I fail to see any “suspicions” given that over 75 witnesses were interviewed.

MrSniper

As you stated, HBP is common. I imagine that middle age men with HBP who drink is also common. What isn’t common is when someone, as described, drops dead after a bar parking lot fight & nobody gets charged for even simple assault. Is one to believe that this man was about to drop dead on his own anyway? No, friend, it doesn’t add up. It’s a scary thing when a man is killed by the hands of others & no one is held responsible.

sonomals6

“What isn’t common is when someone, as described, drops dead after a bar parking lot fight & nobody gets charged for even simple assault”. So you want to press charges against the public for DEFENDING themselves against a KNIFE wielding drunk? 🤔 No one was “Killed” at the hands of others. It’s a scary day when you demand charges against the innocent.

MrSniper

Nobody is saying one shouldn’t be able to defend oneself. The guy was disarmed. Then three people “restrained” him in a fashion that ends up in him dying. Like I wrote before, it is unlikely the guy was already a heart beat away from death. These people took action beyond what is considered usual & lawful. It’s deeply concerning that getting in a bar fight can result in a loss of life & no one is held even partiality responsible. I know a guy who did 7 years for continuing to beat a man after he was unconscious for going at him with a knife (& nobody died). This outcome is not normal.

sonomals6

Well. Your comparison to your friend is totally different. “They kept beating him”. Don’t see that here? He kept trying to enter the establishment?! Have you heard of the Good Samaritan law? I’ll make sure to not hire you as my lawyer. You missed half the “evidence”.

KellyAlzan

Makes no difference what anyone “accepts”. It’s about the FNP doing due diligence to the community and follow up on their own report. As well as the law enforcement agency being transparent.

CapitanoZanetti

Kelly you get em Girl. I agree with you . >FNP doing due diligence This is a great thought Kelly I want the FNP to interview some witnesses, It seems the Frederick News Post is averse to making news. The public would love to know things other than what the police forces reveal.

KellyAlzan

It took relentless pressure in my comments here to get a follow up. On my 2nd to last comment the other day where I addressed Jeremy Arias by name, and wrote about the lack of follow up, I felt fairly sure we’d be seeing a report. Ever since my early teens I’ve always followed local homicide / murder news stories. We have a lot of great memories at Cactus, from back when ‘ol Wayne Wiles owned it.

KR999

" relentless pressure in [your] comments," Kelly? I don't think so. You do remember that, after all the ragging and whining about this that you've done, there was no follow up story done. Not until I sent Jeremy Arias an email several days ago detailing what a nuisance you've been about this case, and in which I copied your latest comment where you mentioned him by name, and asked him if he would please do a follow up just to shut you up. And voilà, a follow up article. So don't flatter yourself into thinking the FNP cares what you want. By the way, I work at the Frederick Airport fill/grading project and I pass the FCSO every day I go to work. Monday morning of this week I noticed a sheriff's deputy fueling his vehicle so I pulled up beside him to talk for a few minutes. This was after your bogus comment about the wife of the victim saying that the sheriff's office had "closed the case." I told him about you and your annoying demands for an update on the case, how you had said what you claimed what the wife had said about the case being closed, and that you had implied that the Pagans were involved and that the FCSO was intimidated by them so there would be no arrests made in the case. He said first off that no case is closed until an arrest is made or there is no evidence to continue it, as with this one, and as far as your opinion on the Pagans and the FCSO goes, it's easy for someone to sit at their keyboard, hiding behind their computer screen, and post bogus comments under a fictitious name. Contacting Jeremy Arias and the FCSO were two things I kept telling you to do if this case meant all so much to you, and you didn't have the backbone to do either one. I did, so don't pat yourself on the back.

KR999

Me, driving around town with you on my mind, Kelly? [lol][lol][lol] As I said, don't flatter yourself, I merely did what you lacked the spine to do, that's all.

Learch

Where is pappy and cd?

KellyAlzan

Probably in the VIP seats down at the mall

KR999

You're cheap, Kelly. Very cheap.

Samanthapowers

you mean under the seats, kelly.

mmfr55

must have been censored by fnp police

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Samanthapowers

you discredit yourself each and every time you open your mouth. you don't need kelly for that.

KR999

And you're a poster child for self discrediting, Sampo.

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Samanthapowers

thank you, kfc dark meat bucket. Get well soon, America. Happy Birthday.

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Samanthapowers

America does need a whole bunch of meds. Good call

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gabrielshorn2013

Shhhh, Sam, the adults are talking here. The chat room for petulant adolescents is down the hall and to the left. Run along now.

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KR999

[lol][lol][lol] Good one gabe! [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

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gabrielshorn2013

Sam, can you ever engage in a discussion without name calling and being offensive? That’s the definition of petulant. Try it sometime, and maybe you’ll gain some credibility. Right now you’re just a troll. Run along.

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