Bar ex-bouncer testifies at trial into patron's death
A former bouncer at a Winnipeg bar testified Tuesday at a manslaughter trial that the victim was upset about a family dispute.
Darren Colomy told court that Gary Rent, 33, was fuming when he went into Bar Italia on Corydon Avenue on July 28, 2010.
Rent, who was Colomy's brother-in-law, was later found unconscious on Cockburn Street, which runs adjacent to the bar's side patio.
Nick Somers, another bouncer at the bar, has been charged with manslaughter in connection with Rent's death.
The trial began on Monday with court hearing that Rent died of blunt force trauma to the head. He also had double the legal alcohol limit in his body along with some tranquilizers.
Colomy told court on Tuesday that he got into an argument with Rent that night and wanted him out of the bar. He asked Rent to leave several times, but Rent refused.
Colomy told other staff to "watch his back" but noted that he didn't want Rent to get hurt.
Somers then argued with Rent after he was escorted out of the bar, Colomy said.
Surveillance video footage presented in court on Tuesday showed a group of people — including Rent, Colomy and Somers — arguing outside Bar Italia.
Colomy testified that at one point, he pushed Rent down to the ground. But Rent, who was a trained boxer, got back up and the altercation continued, he added.
"It all happened so fast," Colomy told the court. "I was overwhelmed, concerned, upset."
Colomy said he did not see Somers or anyone else hurt Rent, but he heard a smack on the pavement and later saw Rent on the ground.
Surveillance footage from a camera stationed outside Bar Italia is expected to be shown to the jury on Tuesday.
The trial resumes on Wednesday and is expected to run for three weeks.