Bouncer dies days after being punched into coma by customer outside Chelsea bar; sister receives organ donation

A 61-year-old bouncer punched out by an angry customer outside a Chelsea bar early on Christmas Eve has died, according to cops and the victim’s family.

Duane Patterson was working at Billymark’s West bar on Ninth Ave. near 29th St. when he got into the fatal clash with a customer in the bar about 3 a.m. on Dec. 24, cops said.

“He was a veteran. In the Air Force,” Patterson’s distraught wife of 26 years, Melissa Buchholz, told the Daily News on Monday. “Father to our daughter. Funny, polite.”

Surveillance footage showed the irate attacker trying to get into the bar after they had closed for the night, the widow told The News.

“This guy wanted to get in for who knows what,” said Buchholz, 51. “Duane went outside to tell him [no]. On the surveillance footage, you can see that they were arguing.”

As the quarrel continued, Patterson was slugged in the face. He fell to the ground and hit his head on the pavement, according to cops.

“He cold-cocked him,” said Buchholz. “He was unconscious as soon as he hit the pavement.”

Medics rushed Patterson to Bellevue Hospital, where doctors determined his skull was fractured and his brain was damaged.

“On Christmas, they told me he was braindead,” Buchholz said.

Three days later, he was pronounced dead at the hospital. On Friday, his organs were procured for donation — including one of his kidneys, which his sister received in a successful operation, according to the widow.

Patterson’s death has been deemed a homicide, police said. He lived in Inwood and was the father of one.

“My father was such a strong, honorable person and was always quick to make us laugh! We will love you dearly always and forever,” his daughter Arianna Buchholz wrote on a GoFundMe page she launched to raise money for funeral arrangements.

Customers at the bar where Patterson worked for eight years also sang his praises.

“I love Billymark’s, and Duane ‘D Train’ Patterson was absolutely the nicest guy imaginable,” bar regular Aaron van Dorn, 43, tweeted. “Just always happy to see me and would always give me a hug and a fist bump. It’s impossible to imagine him gone. What a loss.”

“He was always super friendly and welcoming,” van Dorn told the Daily News. “He was just there to talk to people. . . . Super friendly and willing to chat. Every time we saw him, he was happy to see us.”

“I don’t ever recall altercations, part of what’s so shocking about it,” he added. “Feel really bad for his family. Hard to imagine going there without him.”

Van Dorn describes Billymark’s as a rare unpretentious hangout in the crowded Chelsea bar scene.

Other customers said Patterson used humor to keep tense situations from getting out of hand.

“Duane brought so much joy to everyone he came in contact with, with his ability to make jokes, make people laugh, even when times were tough,” Connie Madrid, a friend, wrote on the GoFundMe site. “He was a great person with so much to give the world.”

The attacker, bald and believed to be in his 40s, was wearing a red Champion hoodie sweater, and a black jacket, black pants and black sneakers. Cops released surveillance footage of him Friday and are asking the public’s help identifying him and tracking him down.

Melissa Buchholz said no one at the bar recognized him.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.