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Punch thrown at Edmond bar leads to manslaughter charge

Bruce Walter Garrison, 63, is charged with first-degree manslaughter in the Oklahoma County District Court, court records show. He is accused of throwing a punch inside Majors bar in Edmond, 70 1/2 E 15, that prompted a medical event leading to the death of 47-year-old Robert Hirsch.

by Matt Dinger Modified: January 31, 2014 at 9:00 pm •  Published: January 31, 2014

A punch to the face inside an Edmond bar led to a manslaughter charge after the victim — who was seriously ill before the skirmish — died days later.

Bruce Walter Garrison, 63, faces a first-degree manslaughter charge in Oklahoma County District Court.

The victim, Robert Hirsch, 47, died Sept. 12 at OU Medical Center after the ventilator keeping him alive was removed. He suffered a large subdural hematoma — bleeding near the brain — from the blow, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Conviction could bring life sentence

Had Hirsch not died, Garrison would be facing a misdemeanor assault and battery charge. Instead, if convicted, he would face four years to life in prison.

Garrison was booked into the Oklahoma County jail but released late Wednesday on $10,000 bail.

The incident occurred Sept. 6 at Majors, 70 E 15.

Hirsch reportedly sat in the seat Garrison had been using at the bar. The two spoke briefly and Garrison is seen on surveillance video slightly pushing and pulling Hirsch before striking him once in the face with his right hand and pushing him with his left, according to the affidavit.

Hirsch fell into the man sitting on his left but never hit the ground, the affidavit states. He was inside the bar for a total of eight minutes.

The Oklahoma County district attorney’s office did not release the video.

Emergency surgery

A taxi driver called 911 after Hirsch was unable to get out of the cab. He was taken to OU Medical Center, where he underwent an emergency craniotomy to remove a section of his skull.

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by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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