Death of Eric Pope: Downtown bouncer who threw punch outside Tabu Bar and Lounge in Philadelphia charged with 3rd degree murder

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — A bouncer is wanted on third-degree murder charges for punching a man outside a bar in downtown Philadelphia earlier this month, police said.

Kenneth Frye, 24, of the 1800 block of Susquehanna Avenue, is wanted in the death of Eric Pope, 41, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday afternoon.

According to police, Pope was escorted out of Tabu Bar and Lounge on April 16 for being intoxicated. It was then that he was punched by Frye.

Pope fell to the ground and died of his injuries, which included traumatic brain injury, in hospital days after the incident.

The events leading up to the punch are still under investigation.

Tabu says Frye was not a bar worker. Action News sources say he worked for a private security company.

SEE ALSO: Man dies after being hit by bouncer outside downtown bar

The community demands answers.

On Tuesday, activists from the LGBTQ community gathered outside the Tabu Bar and Lounge.

“He was murdered, and he was murdered by someone, a guard, who I think was homophobic and had major issues,” said Asa Khalif, an LGBTQ community organizer.

Rico Conforti, a longtime friend of Pope, says he didn’t deserve to die this way.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s awful,” Conforti said.

In recent weeks, there have been other incidents at downtown bars involving the same security company, according to police reports obtained by Action News.

An incident was recorded on March 27 at 2:45 a.m. at Voyeur Nightclub.

“Club security personnel beat the complainant. The complainant suffered a fractured hyoid bone…” the police report said.

A second incident occurred on April 3 around 1 a.m. at the U Bar.

“The security guard … strangled and threw the complainant to the ground. The complainant sustained head injuries,” reads the police report of the April 3 incident.

On Wednesday evening, a vigil was held for the pope in Kahn Park.

“It’s tragic what happened, but he was a beautiful soul,” said one of Pope’s friends.

Natasha McGlinn said she worked with Pope on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C.

McGlinn says she left the nation’s capital after losing her best friend to violence and came here to Philadelphia to do anti-violence work.

“It breaks my heart that this city has taken away someone so full of life, vivaciousness,” McGlinn said.

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