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Beloved bouncer killed in melee at bar

By Gabriel Rom

The friend of a beloved bouncer who died during a fight at an Ozone Park Restaurant last weekend said the restaurant that he was killed in should be closed down.

Garry Comeau, a fellow bouncer who had spent a summer working with Elsworth “Dale” Reid at Johnny’s Bar and Restaurant in Ozone Park and had known him for over a decade, was horrified but not entirely surprised at his death.

“I told Dale that this place doesn’t deserve you,” Comeau said.

“There is something off about that place. I don’t think it was Dale that was an issue, it was the place itself. In my humble opinion, it should be closed down. It is a recipe for disaster.”

Comeau, who served as a witness at Reid’s wedding, said he had asked him personally to work alongside him at the bar because he did not feel fully secure with some of the other employees.

The investigation into Reid’s death was still ongoing and a police source said there might be other suspects involved with the crime at the late night spot.

The two men who were arrested in connection with the assault will not face manslaughter charges, the NYPD said Tuesday.

Investigators are now focusing on a man and woman who allegedly beat the bouncer, Elsworth “Dale” Reid, 48, after he was already on the ground, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Queens district attorney’s office.

Reid, known to his closest friends as “an angel on earth” was trying to separate a group of unruly patrons at 1:20 a.m. last Saturday when they allegedly turned on him and beat him to death at Johnny’s Restaurant and Bar at 107-09 Rockaway Blvd., police said.

Deonarine Deoraj, 31, of Richmond Hill and Harrydatt Nandalall, 48, of Ozone Park were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court Monday, police said. Bail was set at $10,000 and their next court date was scheduled for March, 18.

The DA’s office is waiting for the medical examiner to make a determination as to the cause of death before deciding whether additional charges are warranted, a spokesman for DA said.

According to the complaint, a group of more than six people, including a man and a woman who are not in custody, began fighting each other at the bar. When Reid attempted to break up the fight, Deoraj and Nadalall, who had been fighting each other, both struck Reid in the head and immediately sent him to the floor, the complaint said.

Once on the floor, Reid began gasping for breath, while the male and female still at-large kicked him in the stomach about 10 times, according to the court document.

Less than an hour later, Reid was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital, police said.

“This is a terrible tragedy, but it doesn’t scare me,” said Tamesha Amy, who works at a Laundromat near Johnny’s Restaurant. “But these are the reasons people say that they don’t like bars in their neighborhood. It brings the wrong type of crowd and drink dulls the senses.”

Comeau, a retired Marine, said Reid died for his job.

“I lost him to that place. He died in action.”

He added, “I don’t think there are any words to describe Dale–he was my brother from a distance.”

Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at grom@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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