By Rick Hiduk
The Warren Hotel, a popular bar and restaurant in Tunkhannock, was the scene of a fight this past weekend that moved to the parking lot, where an out-of-town worker, who was among the many spectators, apparently succumbed to injuries due to a fall.
(As published in the March 8 edition of the Rocket-Courier)
Tunkhannock Borough Police Chief Keith Carpenter responded to a call at about 1 am on Saturday morning about a bar fight at the Warren Hotel, 54 Warren Street. Upon arrival, he and two assisting officers from the Tunkhannock Township Police Department learned that the altercation had spilled outside the establishment.
Two injured patrons were discovered, one of whom was taken to CMC Hospital in Scranton and subsequently released. Nathan Robert Schmidt of Waverly, MO was transported by ambulance to Geisinger Wyoming Valley. A life flight had been requested, Carpenter related, but was unavailable due to weather conditions. Schmidt succumbed to severe head trauma on Sunday.
“Preliminary investigation shows that Schmidt was not involved in the altercations,” Chief Carpenter said on Tuesday.
“He might have been going out of the bar to witness the fight and hit his face on the edge of a retaining wall,” Wyoming County District Attorney Jeff Mitchell concurred.
“We are waiting for the coroner’s report to determine the cause of death and medical injuries.” The autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in Luzerne County, but results had not yet come through to Wyoming County by midday Wednesday.
“The investigation has become complicated and has spread into several different incidents,” Carpenter continued, noting that “many” people were at the Warren that evening. Carpenter related that he has collected nearly two dozen statements so far.
“There were a lot of people streaming out of the bar for the fight,” Mitchell noted. “People who were at the scene are still being interviewed.”
Nonetheless, there may not be any arrests associated with the incident. “At this point, we don’t see any evidence of a crime,” Mitchell stated on Wednesday.