A Queens man is dead after he was knocked to the ground for reportedly confronting a man who allegedly hit on his girlfriend.
Authorities confirmed to PEOPLE that Ishmael Bacus, 49, died on Dec. 16 — over one week after he was taken to the hospital on Dec. 7 when he suffered a blow from 47-year-old Vish Sookram.
Sookram told the New York Daily News he was shocked to hear about Bacus’ death. “I feel terrible,” Sookram told the outlet. “My heart is beating fast. I’m shocked.”
On Dec. 7, the two men got into an altercation outside of the Hood Bar and Restaurant in Richmond Hill around 9:42 p.m. local time after Sookram allegedly began flirting with Bacus’ girlfriend, according to the New York Post and New York Daily News.
Sookram denies the allegations that he was flirting with Bacus’ girlfriend.
The restaurant’s manager, Stanley Harry, told the Daily News that the argument reportedly started as “a peaceful competition between them” over the woman, but soon, “things got heated.”
When the two men took the conflict outside, Sookram reportedly swung at Bacus, delivering a single blow that knocked him to the ground, where he hit his head against the concrete.
Bacus was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he died nine days later, on Dec. 16, police confirmed.
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Sookram told the Daily News that there was no argument inside of the restaurant, and claimed that he had gone outside to smoke a cigarette when Bacus “come at me and we just argue with one another.”
“We scramble with one another and he fall and hit his head on the concrete,” Sookram told the outlet.
He was arrested the following day and charged with assault but was later released under supervision, police confirmed to PEOPLE.