MANATEE — Authorities say a man beaten severely during an apparent brawl has died, and the man who inflicted fatal injuries on him will not immediately be arrested because detectives believe he acted in self-defense.
Abraham Lopez, 33, died Sunday at a St. Petersburg hospital from injuries he suffered in a Nov. 8 brawl, but charges will not initially be filed, said Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dave Bristow.
Lopez had been in the hospital since deputies found him in the street with serious head wounds, and witnesses said six to seven men attacked him with a crowbar and baseball bat during a robbery in the front of his home in the 5400 block of 18th Street Boulevard East.
That story turned out to be untrue, and detectives now believe Lopez died after a one-on-one fight with another man, according to Bristow.
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Bristow said an investigation revealed Lopez got into the fight after damaging the other man’s car, and hitting the man first. The man hit Lopez back, apparently inflicting the fatal wounds, Bristow said. The name of the other man in the fight is not being released because has not been arrested and is still under investigation, according to Bristow.
The results of an investigation will be turned over to the Manatee State Attorney’s Office for review, Bristow said.
“We believe this is self-defense, so we will not be making an arrest,” Bristow said. “But we will present the investigation to the state attorney’s office for their review.”