Horseplay at Peoria bar leads to death - Tucson News Now


Horseplay at Peoria bar leads to death

6700 W. Peoria AVe. (Source: KPHO-TV) 6700 W. Peoria AVe. (Source: KPHO-TV)
Matthew Pape (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Matthew Pape (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

One man is dead and another faces murder charges after their horseplay at a Peoria sports bar got a little too rough, police said.

Matthew Pape, 39, was arrested and booked into jail on charges of second-degree murder. The victim is 45-year-old David Whitmer of Surprise.

Enoch Lucero, owner of Enoch's Sports Lounge at 6700 W. Peoria Avenue, said the two were best friends and regulars at the bar.

"I've been in the business 35 years and never had anything like this," Lucero said.

Around 10:20 p.m. Friday, the pair was seen joking around over a cell phone.

"During the scuffle one of them fell and hit his head and that pretty much sums it up," Lucero said.

A bartender called 911. When police arrived, they said they saw bar patrons giving Whitmer CPR.

Medics showed up almost immediately and rushed Whitmer to the hospital, where he died.

Pape told police that he and Whitmer were playfighting over a cell phone. He said Whitmer took Pape's cell phone and put it in his pocket. Witnesses said they then saw Pape put Whitmer in a choke hold.  

Lucero told CBS 5 News the charges in this case don't fit the crime.

"They were friends," Lucero said. "It was not intentional. It was an accident. No, I don't think he should be charged with murder."

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly