A University of South Carolina student said he was out having a good time with friends at Five Points when a man placed him in a chokehold and dropped him on the ground when he was unconscious.
Ryan Chisolm, 22, said he doesn’t remember much after that. He said he remembers feeling like he “was going to die,” when the man surprised him with the arm hold.
“Out of nowhere, I was out of breath and I couldn’t breathe,” Chisolm said. “When I woke up … I couldn’t even talk.”
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After he was rushed to a hospital, Chisolm learned he couldn’t talk because he had broken his jaw. When the unidentified man hurled Chisolm to the ground, he landed on his face. Not only did the impact break his jaw, his teeth were pushed into his gums. The incident was captured on video on the social networking platform Snap.
The Columbia Police Department is investigating the March 19 assault in the 800 block of Harden Street in Five Points. Chisolm said the incident happened while he was at the Pour House. Several calls placed to publicly listed phone numbers connected to the Pour House were unsuccessful.
Chisolm said it all started when he thought a friend of a friend might be involved in a fight and tried to move closer to help, according to an incident report. But he and about five people were pushed out of the bar and onto the sidewalk.
While Chisolm stood outside, an unknown man grabbed him from behind and placed him in a chokehold, causing him to pass out, the police report said. Chisolm was unconscious for several minutes, according to the report.
His attorney, Justin Bamberg, who is also a state representative from Bamberg, said he is frustrated with how the bar handled the incident and is calling on “proper procedures” on how to handle potential altercations between patrons of the bar.
“Responsibility lies on the bars that gain substantially economically by having paying patrons there,” Bamberg said. “We really need to do something to curb some of these unnecessary incidents.”
Bamberg said he has not reached out to owners of the Pour House yet but intends to do so.