Lawyer: Man assaulted outside Short North bar dies

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The man who was beaten outside a Short North bar earlier this month has died, according to a family attorney, and city leaders are calling for the community’s help in finding those responsible.

According to a letter sent Sunday, Greg Coleman Jr., 37, died Saturday night as a result of injuries he suffered when he was assaulted outside Julep, a bar in the 1000 block of North High Street, just after 2:30 am on Monday , Sept. 5.

“While the Coleman family mourns, the public must focus all its efforts on bringing his killers to justice,” family attorney Edward Hastie wrote in the letter. “It is essential that those responsible are brought out of hiding and immediately arrested.”

Columbus police identified Chrystian Foster and Dwayne Cummings as the suspects in the case and filed attempted murder charges against both. In a Monday morning update after Coleman’s death, they announced they changed the charges to murder. Investigators said both men have been arrested for assault in the past.

Dwayne Cummings (left) and Chrystian Foster (right) were wanted for attempted murder after beating a man outside a Short North bar, leaving him in critical condition. (Courtesy Photo/Central Ohio Crime Stoppers)

Authorities believe the men were arguing before the fight broke out, escalating to the point of assault.

In a video obtained by Columbus police, Coleman and one of the suspects are seen squaring up with each other. Coleman throws a punch at one of the suspects but doesn’t hit him. Coleman is then hit in the face by a second man who comes at the victim from the side.

The punch sent Coleman down to the ground, landing half on the sidewalk and half on the roadway. The two other men then proceed to hit Coleman as he is still on the ground.

Following the assault, Coleman was taken to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in critical condition, according to Central Ohio Crime Stoppers. Days after being hospitalized at OSU, Coleman was transferred to the ICU, where his condition deteriorated.

Days after the assault, Gregory Coleman Sr., his father, said the family is doing “horrible” following the incident.

“This is probably the worst thing that could ever happen to a family because it’s like he is brain dead, he is just lying there,” Coleman Sr. said.

Greg Coleman was the father of a 9-year-old girl, Hastie wrote in the letter.

Anyone with any information is asked to call 614-645-4488 or email the detective on the case. Tips can also be made to Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-TIPS (8477).

WARNING: Video from the assault can be viewed below. It contains graphic content that may not be suitable for everyone.

On Monday, one day after Coleman’s death was announced, Columbus Major Andrew Ginther said both police and Short North officials are working to address the violent crimes in the area.

“It’s critically important that we make sure every neighborhood is safe, and we do that with this comprehensive approach, making historic investments in public safety the way we have this year,” Ginther said.

Coleman’s assault is the latest in a trend throughout the Short North. This summer, five people were injured in two separate shootings that occurred only weeks from each other. In 2021, there were several shootings in neighborhoods throughout the Short North.

Ginther is asking the community for help in finding Cummings and Foster.

“We know the two individuals that were involved in this death, in this homicide, have been identified and indicted, and we’re looking to take them off the streets to hold them accountable,” he said.

A statement from the Short North Alliance reads:

We are deeply saddened by the incident that occurred in a loss of life in the Short North Arts District and our thoughts are with the victim’s family. Safety in the Short North Arts District remains everyone’s top priority and we are grateful to the City of Columbus who has put several safety programs in place to reduce violent crimes.

The Short North Crime Interdiction Program provides dedicated police officers who patrol the streets during high traffic times, has intervened and responded to approximately 300 incidents since March.

In addition, the Short North Ambassador team of full and part-time community members trained in de-escalation and community resource referrals has spent more than 6,000 hours in the last year keeping the district safe by addressing matters that do not involve the immediate threat to human life.

Programs like these have made an impact, but it takes the community’s collective commitment to keep the district safe.

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