Statesboro assault victim dies; suspect charges may be upgraded

Aug 29, 11:25 a.m.
         A man found unresponsive early Thursday morning at a Statesboro bar died later that afternoon, Bulloch County Coroner Jake Futch confirmed Friday morning.
        Grant James Spencer, 20, was arrested Thursday on aggravated assault charges, said Statesboro Police Cpl. Justin Samples. Those charges could be upgraded later today.
        Police responded early Thursday, just after midnight, to Rude Rudy's bar in the University Plaza off Chandler Road, where they found Michael Gatto, 18, "unresponsive," said Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner.
        Gatto, who is from Cumming, Ga., was suffering from extensive head injuries and taken to East Georgia Regional Medical Center. He was then airlifted to Memorial University Hospital in Savannah, he said.
        Gatto's body will be sent for an autopsy to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Savannah Tuesday, Futch said.
        Spencer, who lives on Olympic Boulevard, was reportedly a bouncer at Rude Rudy's. On its Facebook page, the business expressed condolences to the victim's family, announcing the bar would be closed Thursday night and that Spencer was fired.
        "Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to the Gatto family," the statement reads. "At the time of the incident, the employee in question was not working. His employment at Rude Rudy's has since been terminated. Rude Rudy's will continue to do everything possible to assist in the investigation.
        "Due to the gravity of the situation, Rude Rudy's will not make further comments until the investigation has been completed. Out of respect for the Gatto family and to further assist authorities in their investigation, Rude Rudy's will be closed for the evening."
        Rude Rudy's owner John Starkey could not be immediately reached for further comment Friday.

        Come back to statesboroherald.com for more details as they become available and read the full story in Saturday's Statesboro Herald.

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