Man who tried to break up fight in Murrells Inlet bar dies in the hospital

Janelle L. Castillo, Christopher N. Buckman, and Daniel Watts

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – The man assaulted at a Murrells Inlet bar earlier this month was pronounced dead this morning at Grand Strand Hospital, says Horry County Coroner Tamara Willard.

The coroner says 44-year-old Michael Dunn of Horry County died around 7:34 a.m.

On Jan. 12, police said they arrested three people in connection to  a fight at a Garden City bar Jan 7.

Raul Denis with the Horry County Police Department says officers responded to the Sandy Monkey Bar in Garden City for a fight around 4:20 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 7.  On arrival, police saw a white car leaving the scene and found a man unconscious in the parking lot. The police report says officers observed that the victim had a severe head injury and was having trouble breathing.

The investigation revealed that the man may have been trying to break up a fight involving multiple people when he was assaulted. Police also say the white vehicle may have run over the man as it left.

A witness followed the vehicle and officers were able to arrest the driver.   Janelle L. Castillo, 35 years old of Murrells Inlet, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with great bodily injury and assault and battery in the first degree.

Christopher N. Buckman, 23 years old of Surfside Beach, was charged with two counts of assault and battery in the third degree.

Daniel Watts, 23 years old of Garden City, was charged with assault and battery in the third degree and public disorderly conduct.

Castillo was released Jan. 9, Buckman was released Jan. 10 and Watts was released on Jan. 8.

Dennis says the department will meet with the solicitor’s office and the detective over the case to discuss upgrading the charges against the three suspects following the victim’s death.

The coroner says the incident remains under investigation.