The tourist killed in an apparent brawl outside a Russian Hill hotel on Friday morning has been identified as 33-year-old Matthew Bate, who was in town with three friends and had been watching Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night. As CBS 5 reports, police believe Bate got into an argument with a couple of men at 2 a.m. Friday and that it turned physical. Bate died shortly after being transported to a hospital.
The incident happened outside the Da Vinci Villa hotel on Van Ness Avenue. Two men were detained following the incident, and one suspect has been arrested in connection with Bate's death. The suspect was also apparently a guest at the hotel, but he has not been publicly identified.
As ABC 7 reports via Bate's family, they believe Bate was sucker-punched. Police have said no weapons were used in the fight, and apparently deadly sucker punches or what Australians call the king punch have been an epidemic Down Under the last several years.
A witness staying on the third floor of the Da Vinci Villa told ABC 7 that she watched police throw down four Hispanic men outside her room. "I watched out the peep hole [and] for about an hour they were asking them questions, [and] ended up handcuffing them," the witness said.
Bate, an analytical chemist from Darwin, Australia, had just arrived in SF a few days earlier. His family issued a statement saying, "We want to remember Matt as someone who lived to the fullest. He had a lot of friends who will miss him dearly." The grieving family has reportedly come to San Francisco to retrieve Bate's body, and Australian paper The Age says that funeral is planned for him on Tuesday in the town southwest of Melbourne where he grew up, Ocean Grove.