LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Mark Heilman was best known for his wit and conversational skills, according to his co-workers.
Heilman was working on Saturday, April 24 when witnesses said he refused to serve a drunk customer. The customer then jumped behind the bar and assaulted him. Heilman had a heart attack and died at the hospital a short time later.
Co-workers and customers at Champagnes are still in shock after their sudden loss.
The karaoke bar has been around since 1966 and will soon be featured on the show “Bar Rescue” for a second time, but the reality is Heilman will never walk through these doors again.
“He was great for conversation, everybody loved talking to him,” Greg Sims, Owner of Champagnes said. “I couldn’t open the place for the first day after it happened it was too tough for me and my employees,” Sims shared.
There are now flowers and a teddy bear behind the bar where Heilman once stood.
“That guest eventually came behind the bar and got into a scuffle with him, did it twice actually,” Sims recounted.
Another guest jumped in and stopped the drunk man, but it was all too much for Heilman.
“Unfortunately, Mark has a heart condition and his heart couldn’t take that struggle,” Sims added.
Like for so many people in the service industry, the pandemic hit Heilman hard.
“It was very tough on Mark and his husband, they lost their home,” Sims explained.
Now Champagnes is raising funds for Heilman’s funeral both at the bar and online:
Donations are coming from others in the hard-hit service industry.
“Mark was looking forward to things getting back to normal, and it is just sad that he won’t ever see that,” Sims contended.
Police are still investigating what happened. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said there have been no arrests so far, everything is pending a coroner's investigation as to the cause of death.