Metro Weekly

Philadelphia Bouncer Accused Of Killing Gay D.C. Man Surrenders To Police

Kenneth Frye faces a charge of third-degree murder for allegedly punching Eric Pope, causing him to fall and hit his head.

Mugshot of Kenneth Frye, the bouncer accused of punching and killing Eric Pope – Photo: Philadelphia Police Department, via KYW-TV/CBS3.

A bouncer accused of killing a D.C. man outside of a Philadelphia gay bar by punching him and causing him to fall and strike his head, has turned himself into police.

Kenneth Frye, who punched 41-year-old Eric Pope outside the Tabu Bar & Lounge shortly before 1 a.m. on Saturday, April 16, turned himself into police after a warrant was issued for his arrest, according to KYW-TV.

According to witnesses, Pope became intoxicated while at the club and was escorted out by security. Video surveillance footage appears to show Pope dancing in the street.

Then a man, believed to be Frye, strikes Pope, causing him to fall unconscious to the ground in the street. The video footage rolls for two minutes before Pope is dragged from the street to the sidewalk.

Pope was unresponsive by the time medics arrived on the scene. He was transported to a local hospital, where he remained in critical condition until he died from his injuries a week later, on April 23.

The owner of Tabu issued a statement on the incident, telling KYW-TV that the bouncer who punched Pope was “not an employee of Tabu and the incident in question did not occur on our property,” adding that management immediately called 911 after learning what happened.

Pope, an employee of the Monetary Affairs Decision with the Federal Reserve Board, was remembered by friends as someone who always smiled, had a positive attitude, and was generous.

“It’s just really sad,” Keisha Tate-Brown, a friend of Pope’s, said. “I would love for justice to be served because we’re all seeking it. It’s really heartbreaking when you watch the video and you just see how people take matters into their own hands for whatever reason.”

A spokesperson for the Federal Reserve Board told KYW-TV that Pope “was instrumental in helping to advance the Board’s diversity and inclusion goals and helped set up a mentoring program.”

“We are thankful for all of his positive contributions and will miss him,” the spokesperson said.

Frye has been charged with third-degree murder, which could carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, if convicted. He is next scheduled to appear in court on May 16.

Leave a Comment:

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!