A man died last weekend after a confrontation outside a bar on Cedar Springs Road. Detective Derick Chaney said video from JR's Bar & Grill shows that Joseph Chase was punched on the sidewalk then fell to the ground, unconscious. Chaney said he lay there until police arrived. He was pronounced dead at a hospital later.
Chaney said he's been unable so far to ascertain where Chase was before he was punched. Chaney believes Chase and the person who punched him were possibly drunk and got into an argument, but their encounter was "not a fight." The person landed one punch and then Chase fell, Chaney said video showed.
Chaney is hoping people were walking by and witnessed the confrontation. They possibly didn't stop to help because they didn't think it was serious.
The Dallas Voice reported that Chase is a gay man, but Chaney said there is no evidence of him being targeted for his sexuality. "I do not have any evidence it's a hate crime," Chaney said.
As of Thursday afternoon, most people we spoke to on Cedar Springs hadn't heard of Chase's death. Andre Cruz, who works at a clothing store there, heard about it because police asked if he knew anything.
People might think Chase was a target because he was killed in Cedar Springs but he could just as easily been jumped in Greenville, Cruz said. He said he's always felt safe in the neighborhood, able to walk down the block to his apartment after closing the store at midnight. This is just a reminder to remember the basics of safety, Cruz said.
Kristopher Johnson, working the counter of another clothing store, said he hadn't heard about Chase's death. He said he feels safe in the neighborhood and the seemingly random nature of the crime doesn't change that. Besides, he added, a hate crime in 2014 would be "ludicrous."
Send your story tips to the author, Sky Chadde.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.