A judge ordered last June that the Sandbar Bar & Grill in Rock Hill pay the estate of Odell Fields more than $800,000. Fields was killed by one punch outside the bar in 2014. The money was part of a $1.8 million judgment against the bar, bartender and man who threw the fatal punch.
But Field’s family has not been paid, according to lawyers representing the family and court records. So Tuesday, York County Sheriff’s Office deputies armed with a court order seized the contents of the bar -- right down to the last shotglass. Then a locksmith changed the locks.
The items will be inventoried, placed in storage, then auctioned at a public sale after the sale is advertised for three weeks, said David Manzi, a lawyer and partner from the Schiller & Hamilton firm in Rock Hill, which secured the $1.8 million settlement against the bar, the bartender, and Eric Cobb.
Odell Fields was a 65-year-old Vietnam War veteran who was at the bar in 2014. He was pursued outside by Cobb, surveillance video showed. Cobb was seen celebrating that he knocked Fields down with one punch.
Fields died the next day.
Cobb is in prison serving a 15-year sentence. He pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of Odell Fields.
A judge ruled in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Field’s son against the bar, Cobb and the bartender, that Cobb owed $1 million and the Sandbar and bartender, Jose Cintron, owed $810,381.59 in damages. The bar, Cobb and bartender were all found in default in the civil lawsuit and ordered to pay $1.8 million, court documents show.
“We have not received any proceeds from the judgment,” Manzi said Tuesday outside the Sandbar. “The proceeds after auction will go toward at least partially satisfying that judgment.”
Deputies served the writ of execution Tuesday at the bar and grill, located in a strip mall at the intersection of S.C. 161 and Museum Road. Locksmiths from Boan’s Locksmith Shop then changed the locks to the doors.
“The sheriff’s department now has total control over the assets,” Manzi said.
The assets include tables, chairs, stools, stoves and refrigerators and everything else in the bar -- including the liquor and beer. It remains unclear if the booze will be sold at auction without a special court order, Manzi said, because a liquor license is required to sell alcohol.
Efforts to reach the lawyer for the Sandbar were unsuccessful.