PARMA, Ohio-- The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained video from inside a bar just before a man died, and the pictures helped lead to a rare conviction for a bartender accused of serving the man too much to drink.
Last year, Nicholas Yorko died. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner says he died from a mix of alcohol, heroin, and fentanyl. But recently, Annie Harte was convicted on a charge for overserving alcohol. However, she was not charged with causing the death.
The video comes from a bar in Parma that’s now closed. You see Harte, the bartender, pouring drinks for Yorko. Later you see him slumped over as Harte and others tried to revive him.
We asked why she didn’t call 9-1-1 earlier. Harte said, “There was times I tried to wake him up, but he was like, ‘hmm, hmm, hmm,’ not coherent, but he was still with me.”
Police reports say the bartender served double and triple shots. The equivalent of 18 drinks in an hour and 20 minutes. Police put together a case for a grand jury to consider a charge of involuntary manslaughter. But again, Harte was not indicted for the death.
Nonetheless, Parma Police say this should send a message to anyone serving drinks anywhere. Lt. Kevin Riley said, "It is definitely an important case for people to understand that when you're dealing with somebody that is so intoxicated that they're just not responding to any type of stimuli, and they're not waking up, and it doesn't look like they're going to anytime soon, it’s probably a good idea to call paramedics right away."
The Ohio Investigative Unit looks into cases like this statewide. Local agent-in-charge Greg Croft said, “What’s on that video should never happen in any bar in Ohio.” The Ohio Investigative Unit is still doing looking into this case to see if anyone else connected to the bar should be cited.
Harte says a woman claiming to be a nurse checked on the man at the bar that night, and she didn’t see this case turning deadly. Harte also says she knew Yorko well. She added, "I may have overserved him. I'm not saying that I didn't."