Total Pageviews

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Vile and Disconcerting Incident in Key West...

There are a number of local watering holes here in Key West that I enjoy frequenting for lack of anything better to do.

These include The Green Parrot Bar off of Duval Street, Shana Pub near Garrison Bight, and Don's Place along Truman Avenue with each locale catering to locals as apart from catering to boisterous tourists.

More often than not my choice of venue is dictated by whether I'd like to get a bite to eat along with my cold Budwiesers or whether there might be a sporting event being shown on tv that might be of interest to me.

In any case, I tend to keep to myself while sipping on a few beers and watching whatever might be showing up on the flat screens before heading on back to my boat for the evening.

The atmosphere in these taverns is usually rather subdued and patrons are for the most part locals who can be seen idly chatting and kicking back after putting in a long day of labor.

And with this being Key West, there is indeed a sizable gay community here. Nevertheless it's not something that I give much thought to whenever I might sit down at a bar and place a drink order.

Like I previously mentioned, I tend to keep to myself while seated at a bar. In addition I've also yet to feel compelled to fend off any unwelcomed and unsolicited advances from anyone.

And insofar as "taking a walk on the wild side", it simply ain't gonna happen since it just ain't a part of my DNA chemical make-up.

There does seem to be a "live and let live" mindset down here in the Keys where folks simply don't judge one another.

Well heck, even the occasional transvestite that I might come across while at a bar is a non-event for me anymore... nor does it seem to be a big deal for anybody else in that bar for that matter.

If anything, I feel but a good measure of compassion for that person for I simply don't believe for a moment that anyone ever wakes up one morning and suddenly elects to swap out their genitals.

So gal, though you and I might not have much in common, and you might not give a rat's ass about that featured base-line drive to the hoop, feel free to tell the bartender that my next beer goes on your tab. I'll be sure to remember to say thank you.

In any event, it was rather distressing for me the other day when I happened to go on-line and access the local newspaper to see what festivities might be going on here in Key West only to discover to my incredulous dismay that a violent crime had been committed.

A news account of that event follows:

Victim was asked to leave bar

Jonathan Alvarado, whose easygoing nature prompted his boss to call him "Greenpeace," was drunk and annoying the patrons of a Grinnell Street bar just hours before his bludgeoned body was discovered beneath a nearby truck Friday morning, according to witnesses.

Don's Place employees asked the 32-year-old server at La Trattoria Oceanside to leave the bar about 4 a.m. after he began bothering other customers, according to witnesses, who asked not to be named because police asked them not to discuss the case.

Alvarado hung on people, interrupted their conversations and drank their drinks -- whether knowingly or not -- according to witnesses, who added that there had been no violence nor other serious disturbance prior to Alvarado leaving the bar in the 1000 block of Grinnell.

About three hours later, Roberto Lobo stepped outside his home and saw Alvarado's body lying beneath a delivery truck. Neighbors phoned 911.

Like many in town celebrating Fantasy Fest, Alvarado was costumed -- wearing black with fairy wings on his back, said longtime friend Terry Williams.

Williams had been with Alvarado at Don's Place Thursday night and into Friday morning. But he said there had been no trouble before he left about 3 a.m.

Williams said he can't grasp how such a gentle, peace-loving person could fall victim to such violence.

"I can't figure it out," he said. "I don't understand why anyone would do that. I can't sleep. I can't eat. It's been horrible."

Key West police have remained tight-lipped about the case, citing the open investigation. Detectives had no new information to release Monday, city spokeswoman Alyson Crean said.

Alvarado, who had been living in Key West for about eight years, was from Venezuela, Williams said. He had been staying with another friend at a house off White Street at the time of his death, he said.

There was a small memorial of flowers and candles Monday near the spot where Alvarado's body was found. A man on a bicycle who stopped, identifying himself only as a friend, asked neighbors if he could add to the memorial.

"He didn't deserve it," the man said, before peddling away.

A memorial is planned for 7 tonight at McConnell's Irish Pub & Grill, 900 Duval St., Williams said. An account has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank, 3131 Northside Drive, under Alvarado's uncle's name, Nanjai Alvarado, to return Alvarado's remains to Venezuela for burial.


Police: DNA ties suspect to killing
Former Duval Street bouncer arrested early Wednesday in Wisconsin

Police say a blood-stained Fantasy Fest costume links a first-degree murder suspect arrested early Wednesday in Wisconsin to the October bludgeoning death of Jonathan Alvarado.

Key West police detectives obtained an arrest warrant for former Irish Kevin's bar bouncer Peter Erik Hedvall late Tuesday afternoon after DNA test results returned this week confirmed the victim's...

For the complete article, please pick up a copy of The Citizen for this day or purchase this day's electronic edition at

Home Delivery & Electronic Edition subscribers to The Citizen may access this article, once logged in to, at no charge. If you forget your password, please call us at 305-292-7777, ext. 4.

Painting of Don's Place by Stephen LaPierre, Fine Art Oil Painter.

No comments:

Post a Comment