Former NoHo Topless Bar Bouncer Sentenced to Probation, Jail After Punching Man Who Fell and Was Fatally Hit by Vehicle

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A former bouncer was sentenced to three years probation, 180 days in county jail and 240 hours of community labor after he punched a man who then fell into traffic and was fatally struck by a passing vehicle just over a year ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Ernest Shawn Reyes is a 35-year-old resident of Arleta who was working as a bouncer at Star Garden, a topless bar in North Hollywood, when he threw a punch at the victim, officials said at the time.

Star Garden, in the 6600 block of Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood, is shown in a Google Maps image.

Star Garden, in the 6600 block of Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood, is shown in a Google Maps image.

In a news release, the DA’s office identified the victim as Wilfredo Rodriguez; earlier information provided by the Los Angeles Police Department, which investigated the case, indicated the man’s first name was Apollo.

Rodriguez, 47, fell back after the punch and into passing traffic along Lankershim Boulevard, officials said. He was struck by a vehicle that fled the scene and died. The crash happened at about 1:15 a.m. on Dec. 15, 2016.

Reyes pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter last month, prosecutors said. In the days after the incident, he was initially charged with murder — a count that could have landed him a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison if convicted. His bail was set at $1 million.

At the time of his death, friends of Rodriguez described him as a loyal, honest friend who was a native New Yorker.

“Just a man of his word, very rare to find a character like that in LA,” said one of his friends, Jack Atolikian.

The alleged hit-and-run driver, identified as 33-year-old Jorge McDonald Jr., was also arrested and charged in the case, City News Service reported.

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