Tampa police are seeking the public’s help after people “who appear to be affiliated” with a performer punched a man who approached the artist to get a photo outside of Club Skye in Ybor City early Monday morning.
Tampa police would not identify the performer to the Tampa Bay Times. A spokesperson in an email said: “That information is part of the ongoing investigation.”
However, the celebrity news website TMZ and other outlets identified the performer as Nardo Wick, a rapper from Jacksonville.
Club Skye’s website also listed Wick as performing at the club on Sunday night. Wick and his management also have issued statements about the incident.
Tampa police said in a news release Tuesday that an “adult male victim” approached the performer at about 1:17 a.m. Monday to get a photo after a concert at Club Skye, 1509 E. 8th Ave.
At that point, “individuals who appear to be affiliated with the performer punched the victim,” the news release states.
Police said the injured man was taken to a hospital, where he was in critical but stable condition.
Videos of the incident have been shared on various news sites and social media.
“Detectives are aware of the videos circulating social media and are interested in speaking to anyone who witnessed the incident or may have information that would assist in identifying the suspects,” the news release states.
Various social media and news site posts identified the man who was punched as George Obregon Jr. of Wesley Chapel. A woman who said she was his mother, Michelle Obregon, posted about the incident on Facebook Monday night.
“At no point was my son aggressive at no ... point did she show any sign of harm!!!” the post says in part. “My son wanted a stupid ... picture with his favorite artist!!!! And this is what he gets!!!!!!! I am sick to my stomach to think about how this could have turned out!!!! Please help me share this please as a mother I am begging you to help get justice for George Obregon Jr. Anyone who knows my son knows he is the sweetest and gentlest kid ever. No drugs, alcohol, gang, nothing! I am dying here and my ... heart is hurting so bad I am sick to my stomach. I can’t stay quiet.”
Michelle Obregon also had posted “That call you never want to get at 2 am” and marked her location as AdventHealth Wesley Chapel. She used the hashtag #boycottybor.
On Oct. 29, two people were shot and killed and 16 others injured, 15 by gunfire, after an argument in Ybor City that authorities said occurred between two rival groups. One man has been charged with murder and a teen has been arrested on weapons charges.
As for the incident that occurred Monday morning, Nardo Wick addressed it in an Instagram post Tuesday.
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“I don’t condone what happened to my fan George after my show in any type of way,” the post said. “I expressed to him and his mama how sorry and concerned I was that it happened to him, multiple times before anything was even posted on the internet.”
The rapper’s post said that he “can’t control another grown man’s actions.” The post said he was “mad when it happened” and that he tried to stop the attack.
Wick’s management also issued a statement, according to WFLA-Ch. 8, that said among other things that the people who punched the man were not part of his security.
“I want to start by saying that Nardo is furious over what happened! He did not condone or participate in anything that occurred,” the statement says. “He took no part in it. As soon as he realized what was happening, he jumped to put a stop to it.That’s not his security nor are the individuals directly connected to Nardo. Nardo spoke with the victims mother the same night it occurred, and management has been in contact with the mother in reference to his condition. We are praying for a speedy recovery! Nardo loves and genuinely cares about his fans.”
Anyone with information about the incident can call Tampa police at 813-231-6130 or submit an anonymous tip by contacting Crime Stoppers at 800-873-8477 or via TIP411.