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.