Bangor man’s death ruled a homicide

Posted Sept. 02, 2010, at 11:30 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Ohio Street resident Ralph “Greenie” Greenleaf, 47, who was beaten up early Sunday morning near a bar under the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge, has died, according to officials at Eastern Maine Medical Center.

The state medical examiner’s office “is calling it a homicide,” Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said just before 6 p.m. Thursday. “Blunt force head trauma” is listed as the cause of death, he added.

Greenleaf was in the fight just after area bars closed for the night and at around 1:25 a.m. Sunday was taken unconscious by ambulance to EMMC. He died at 11:20 p.m. Wednesday.

The medical examiner’s office conducted an autopsy Thursday to determine the cause of death and, along with the Attorney General’s Office, released the results late Thursday afternoon.

Bangor police, who are seeking the public’s help in their investigation, declined to say Thursday whether they have a suspect or suspects in Greenleaf’s slaying.

Mark Greenleaf, who co-owns Carolina Sports and Spirits, which is next door to where Ralph Greenleaf was beaten, said Wednesday that his employees told him a group of young people provoked the fight and needed to be pulled off the victim.

On Thursday he said the victim, who is not related to him, “was pushed and he didn’t put out his arms and he smashed his head.”

Bar bouncers saw the fight and went over to assist Ralph Greenleaf, and a member of the band playing at the bar called an ambulance, he said.

“All we did was try to help,” Mark Greenleaf said. “It’s a terrible tragedy.”

Some accounts of the fight have been exaggerated, Bangor police Detective Sgt. Paul Kenison said Thursday morning, not giving any details but saying basically that Ralph Greenleaf was not “beaten nearly to death.”

“That’s not really accurate at all,” he said.

The detective explained that “anytime we have a death like that, an unattended death, it becomes an ME [medical examiner] case.”

Ralph Greenleaf was a longtime employee of Roof Systems of Maine in Bangor, where he worked as a kettle tender, said company Vice President Lee Corro.

“He was a good guy and he was dependable,” he said. “He worked for us since 1992. Whatever you asked him to do, he’d do it. He’s going to be missed, no doubt about it.”

Employees of the company, many of whom have worked together for decades, are really broken up by the sudden loss of their co-worker, Corro said.

“These guys are pretty tight,” he said. “They’re like brothers.”

Mark Greenleaf stressed Thursday that none of the people involved in the fight consumed alcohol at his bar. He asked that those who may have been walking through the area early Sunday morning call police if they saw any of the fight.

“I think [the police are] trying to build a really solid case,” he said. “They know who did it. There was a bunch of witnesses.”

The incident is under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Bangor Police Department.

Those with information about the incident are asked to call the Police Department’s tip line at 947-7382, ext. 6.

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