Man dies after fight; Grand Junction police seek suspect

Police identified a suspect and obtained a warrant for his arrest Tuesday after the beating death of a man near a downtown Grand Junction bar.

The Grand Junction Police Department said Tuesday night in a news release it is looking for 27-year-old Sahr Benjamin Mbawa in connection with a homicide that occurred in the early morning hours Tuesday.

Mbawa’s criminal history dates back to 2000 for arrests ranging from drugs, motor-vehicle theft and being a fugitive, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Mbawa was sentenced to seven years in prison in March 2003 after pleading guilty to drug possession, and he was sent back to prison in February 2005 for a parole violation. He was most recently arrested by the Gunnison County Sheriff’s Department on Sept. 11 on charges of second-degree assault, second-degree assault causing serious bodily injury and false reporting to police, according to the CBI.

The Police Department said officers were called around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday about a fight involving two men in the area of Sixth and Main streets.

The Police Department did not release the name of the victim, who died from his injuries at St. Mary’s Hospital, and it declined to release further information about the incident.

Adelle Lloyd, the owner of Quincy Bar, 609 Main St., identified the man killed early Tuesday as Richard Martinez, a longtime patron of the bar.

The Mesa County Coroner’s Office on Tuesday did not release the name of the victim.

Lloyd said she closed the bar Tuesday night “out of respect” for Martinez’s family.

“He was just a great guy who never got out of line, well-liked by our customers and staff,” Lloyd said. “We’re heartbroken at the loss of a good customer and good friend.”

Lloyd said Martinez and the suspected assailant were inside the bar before the confrontation Tuesday, but the assault occurred outside the bar. Lloyd said the suspect was a former employee of Quincy Bar.

“There was no indication anything would happen,” she said.


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