It didn't take long to convert our wonderful Mass Ave business district into Broad Ripple with the explosion of establishments with liquor licenses and developers slapping up cheap apartment buildings all over downtown. Binge-drinking millennials are now the norm. A fight broke out Friday night at the normally calm and relaxing Chatterbox jazz bar, a long-time fixture on the avenue. Police arrive and find a man unconscious on the floor. The thirty-one year old Carmel man, Michael Lanter, later died at the hospital. The suspect involved in the altercation fled the scene before police could arrive. And to think we've got a whole block of new bars and apartment dwellers to come on line thanks to Mayor Ballard's corrupt deal with his campaign contributors to relocate the fire station, fire department headquarters and the credit union that's costing taxpayers more than $65 million.
UPDATE: WISH-TV provides some additional information, indicating that Lanter had just walked into the bar in a highly-intoxicated condition when an altercation occurred between him and another patron. The bar's owner indicates no alcohol was ever served to Lanter before he fell and hit his head on the bar, losing consciousness.
“The band was at completion of their first set. We were full, not standing room, but 45 to 50 people inside and about a dozen outside,” said Chatterbox owner David Andrichik.
But what happened next is far from typical. Before midnight, police said Lanter entered the bar already showing signs of intoxication.
“He was not even a customer yet. So that is the point we would not have served him anyway but he was not even a customer yet. He had just come into the bar,” said Andrichik.
According to police, a fight broke out between Lanter and another man. Police say that other man hit Lanter in the neck area, causing him to lose his balance and hit his head on the bar.
“(He) immediately lost consciousness. He was unresponsive when officers arrived. They were doing life-saving measures,” said IMPD Officer Chris Wilburn.
Lanter died at the hospital. In Andrichik’s more than 30 years on Mass Ave, he said he’s never seen anything like this.
“Nothing like this has ever happened. It’s shocking and it’s very sad, and we’re very sad for the family and friends,” said Andrichik. Authorities said depending on the cause of death, which will be determined by the coroner, they may press criminal charges. As for the person involved in the fight, police said that man is still on the loose.
According to WRTV, a medical examination to determine Lanter's cause of death was inconclusive on whether he died from a blow inflicted on him by his assailant or from striking his head when he fell. WRTV also says Lanter officially tried entering the bar without paying a $7 cover charge but eventually agreed to pay it. The fight later occurred after the bar refused to serve him alcohol because of his state of intoxication. Police have supposedly identified the man who struck Lanter and are making arrangements to interview him. The assailant could face reckless homicide charges if Lanter's death is not determined to be accidental.
Online court records indicate that Lanter pleaded guilty in a Hamilton County court in 2013 to drunk driving. He also was twice arrested for illegal consumption of alcohol charges 13 years ago as a minor in Hamilton and Monroe Counties.
UPDATE II: Wow. The British tabloid, The Daily Mail, has now picked up on this story. They refer to Lanter as a former "high-flying Goldman Sachs investment banker." The tabloid claims Lanter, a graduate of the University of School's Booth School of Business, worked in asset management at Goldman Sachs' New York office until 2011. Lanter was most recently working for ML Financial Consulting as a financial consultant according to his LinkedIn listing. It doesn't look like Lanter's been a licensed investment advisor according to publicly-available information Advance Indiana reviewed since he left his job at Goldman Sachs in 2011.
|Photo of Lanter with others posted on his Twitter account|