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Rude Rudy’s bouncer now faces murder charge

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Posted: September 2, 2014 4:05 p.m.
Updated: September 2, 2014 4:03 p.m.
Rude Rudy’s bouncer now faces murder charge

Grant James Spencer

A man accused of beating another to death last week now faces a murder charge.

Grant James Spencer, 20, of Olympic Boulevard and a bouncer for Rude Rudy's, was arrested Thursday on aggravated battery charges after the beating death of Michael Gatto, 18, of Cumming, who died at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah later that day.

The attack occurred at Rude Rudy's, a bar in University Plaza at Chandler Road and Georgia Avenue.

A post on Rude Rudy's Facebook page the day of the attack stated that Spencer was not on duty at the time of the incident and that he was terminated afterward. The post was not visible on that Facebook page Tuesday.

Rude Rudy's owner John Starkey did not return phone calls seeking comment Tuesday.

Gatto "received head injuries as a result of the altercation and was unresponsive upon officers' arrival," Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner said in news release issued Tuesday.

Gatto was taken to East Georgia Regional Medical Center, then airlifted to Memorial.

Gatto was a track and field athlete at South Forsyth High School last year. Spencer is a former wrestler with Johns Creek High School.

Georgia Southern University President Brooks Keel issued a statement Friday saying that the "university family is deeply saddened" by the death of Gatto, who was a GSU student. Media reports indicate that Spencer also attended Georgia Southern.

Statesboro Police Department Criminal Investigations Bureau officers executed an arrest warrant Tuesday for Spencer, who remains in the Bulloch County Jail without bond, charging him with felony murder. He was already being detained on an aggravated battery charge stemming from the incident.

The new charge came "after completion of an autopsy by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab. No further information is being released at this time," Turner said.
Bulloch County Coroner Jake Futch said late Tuesday afternoon that he had not yet been informed of the autopsy results.

Gatto's death is the sixth killing reported in Bulloch County this year.

Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact Detective Benjamin Purvis at the Statesboro Police Department at (912) 764-9911. Information may be also submitted anonymously to or by sending a text message starting with "TIPSSPD" to 274637 (CRIMES). All information is strictly confidential.

Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.



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