Loved ones pay tribute to man who died following downtown Fargo assault
FARGO — A photo snapped at a downtown eatery and shared on social media shows Jamie Grant surrounded by family and friends Saturday, May 27.
Later that same night, outside the HoDo Restaurant and Lounge, Grant was punched once, fell, hit his head on pavement and suffered a traumatic brain injury.
The 45-year-old husband and father of a young boy died Monday, June 5, said his father Cornelius. His organs will be donated.
Grant was out celebrating graduations and reunions on May 27, according to a CaringBridge site set up in his name.
A HoDo bartender told police Jamie Grant, brother Jeff Grant and friend Christopher Sang got into a fight with Darren Patterson in the bar. Patterson, 43, and the three other men were subsequently kicked out and sent out separate doors. Patterson crossed the street before returning and fighting the men, according to court documents.
Patterson punched all three men, knocking Jamie Grant and Sang unconscious, court documents state. Sang recovered consciousness at the scene, but Jamie Grant never did.
Patterson faces two felony counts in Cass County District Court of aggravated assault.
The prosecuting attorney in the case could amend charges "once the organ recovery procedures have been completed," police said Tuesday, June 6, in a news release.
Bruce Quick, the attorney for Patterson, released a statement Tuesday:
"On behalf of Darren Patterson and his family, they are devastated by the news and their thoughts and prayers are with the family of James Grant. If the prosecutor chooses to file amended charges in this case, we will represent Mr. Patterson in this matter and we believe the obligations are defensible."
In 2010, Patterson was charged with felony assault after breaking a man's nose at Dempsey's Pub in downtown Fargo, court records show. In that case, Patterson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of simple assault.
Photos of Jamie Grant over the years — at the lake, at University of North Dakota hockey games or at concerts — surfaced on social media platforms after the assault and again this week.
There was an outpouring of support following the tragic news. In one week's time, a Go Fund Me page set up to benefit Grant's wife Jenny and young son James raised nearly $50,000.
"Jamie always had a smile and a welcoming demeanor that made it both easy and a joy to work with him," wrote co-worker Maggie Foster on the fundraising site. "Wrap yourself in the warm memories of Jamie and the positive impact he had!"
Grant worked for more than a decade at Microsoft in Fargo, where brother Jeff Grant is also employed.
Words fell short for Jeff Grant this week, who wrote on Facebook that he would not be commenting on "this horrible situation." Instead, he shared a handful of photos, like one of them on the lake with his brother and the simple caption: "My hero."
Jamie Grant is shown in another image from 2009 giving a thumbs up with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl while on a trip to Chicago.
"Just about every picture I have [of Grant] is at some concert. The man knew his music!" wrote one friend.
Jamie Grant sounded just like Martin Zellar from Minnesota rock band The Gear Daddies, wrote another friend. Anytime they hear the chorus of "Stupid Boy," they will forever think of him, they said.
Grant's love of music was passed down to his son. In a 2015 Halloween photo, the boy is dressed up like Gene Simmons — black wig, face paint and all.
"He never talked about himself, he just wanted to know how everyone else was doing. That speaks volumes of what kind of person he was. We shared a lot of great conversations about music, food, and politics. He was so easy to talk to and be around, and he'll be missed," wrote Jonathan Holth of Bismarck.
Jamie Grant, originally from Bismarck, is a graduate of Minot State University. He married Jenny at Moorhead's Trinity Lutheran Church in 2004, and their wedding announcement said he was already employed by Microsoft.