Father dies after defending daughter from bar assault; 1 arrest made


Police say a 40-year-old St. Paul man was beaten at a Maplewood bar early Wednesday after stepping in to break up a bar fight, and later died at his home.

According to a Maplewood Police Department news release, Eduardo Alberto Figueroa – a father of three and owner of a metro business – was at Freddy's Tiki Hut shortly before midnight on Tuesday, when an argument occurred. Three people – two males and one female – then assaulted another woman at the bar, and Figueroa stepped in to break it up.

The Pioneer Press reports that woman was Figueroa's 18-year-old daughter, who offered to drive her father to the establishment for his birthday. She waited by the door of the bar as Figueroa celebrated with the owner of Freddy's, a good friend, the paper says.

Shortly after Figueroa told a younger man on his phone to quiet down, the three suspects approached Figueroa. His daughter came over and was attacked by the woman, the Pioneer Press says.

At that point, Figueroa "attempted to break up the assault," police say, and was then thrown to the ground by the two male suspects and beaten. The three then fled in a car.

When authorities arrived, Figueroa reported being kicked in the face and head numerous times, but "refused to be seen by paramedics, telling officers he preferred to go to the hospital on his own," according to police.

He went home, and an hour later fell unconscious. Authorities were called, and when responders arrived he wasn't breathing and had no pulse. After "an extensive effort to revive" Figueroa, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Figueroa owned a tattoo and piercing parlor in Crystal, and the shop wrote the following on Facebook:

"He was the backbone of our team and it will be tough moving forward but we will continue our progress in his memory."

Maplewood police told WCCO surveillance footage shows what happened at the bar.

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The medical examiner has not determined an official cause of death, but Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell says "the nature and proximate timing of the assault and death" leads them to believe the incidents are related.

License plate information for the getaway car led police to a 23-year-old St. Paul man, who was still in the vehicle. He was arrested without incident. Police are still seeking one male and one female suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Maplewood police at 651-767-0640 or via 911. Anonymous text tips can be submitted by texting "Maplewood" and the tip information to TIP411 (847411).

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