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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 07:31 PM

Nashville Restaurant Owner Died Of Carbon Dioxide Poisoning In Cooler, Likely Overcome Within A 'Few

Source: ABC

A Nashville restaurateur who was found dead in a walk-in refrigerator died of suffocation from carbon dioxide inside, and was likely overcome by the gas in a matter of minutes, the Nashville medical examiner ruled today.

Jay Luther, 47, was found dead Monday morning in the cooler of the Germantown East Cafe. Luther, who was co-owner of the cafe, pressed a burglar alarm in the cooler that called police to the scene.

-------------------------

When Luther went to check on the food Sunday night, he became trapped. The internal latch had been malfunctioning before the weekend, police said.

The restaurateur didn't have his cellphone, but he tripped the burglar alarm in the cooler, hoping officers would come to free him.

Three officers and one sergeant arrived within five minutes of the call, but did not investigate after "they found the building to be dark and all doors secure."

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/nashville-restaurant-owner-found-dead-cooler/story?id=16602832#.T-ELU5FGAX4

31 replies, 4766 views

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Reply Nashville Restaurant Owner Died Of Carbon Dioxide Poisoning In Cooler, Likely Overcome Within A 'Few (Original post)
Liberal_in_LA Jun 2012 OP
RKP5637 Jun 2012 #1
Liberal_in_LA Jun 2012 #4
RKP5637 Jun 2012 #8
Liberal_in_LA Jun 2012 #12
zbdent Jun 2012 #18
siligut Jun 2012 #2
zbird Jun 2012 #3
justabob Jun 2012 #5
siligut Jun 2012 #11
IrishAle Jun 2012 #16
RKP5637 Jun 2012 #6
Erose999 Jun 2012 #21
RKP5637 Jun 2012 #24
Hassin Bin Sober Jun 2012 #7
RKP5637 Jun 2012 #9
era veteran Jun 2012 #10
Hassin Bin Sober Jun 2012 #17
era veteran Jun 2012 #20
bitchkitty Jun 2012 #26
Hassin Bin Sober Jun 2012 #27
bitchkitty Jun 2012 #29
marble falls Jun 2012 #22
KurtNYC Jun 2012 #28
jtuck004 Jun 2012 #13
Liberal_in_LA Jun 2012 #14
TNDemo Jun 2012 #15
jtuck004 Jun 2012 #19
FrodosPet Jun 2012 #31
AngryAmish Jun 2012 #23
RKP5637 Jun 2012 #25
Duer 157099 Jun 2012 #30

Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 07:39 PM

1. That is sooo scary. When I was a little kid in a little town, the local

one horse food store had a huge freezer with just a small push bar inside to get out if the door was closed. As a little kid I used to wonder would would happen if the sole proprietor of the store went in the freezer and the door wouldn't release to get out. That was way before cell phones and I doubt there was any device inside to call for help. Used to always spook me some as a tiny kid.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 07:48 PM

4. I notice that all new cars have that inside release lock. Scary to be locked in anything

I know kids would call in car trunks and get stuck. Not sure if a little one has the presence of mind to find the release lock though.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 07:58 PM

8. This sounds dumb, but I've been in cars where I couldn't find the

door handle easily and I felt a tinge of panic.

When I was a kid years ago one often heard of kids crawling into abandoned refrigerators, closing the door playing and suffocating. That, must be a horrible death for a kid ... or anyone.


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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #8)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:18 PM

12. yes, that is why we are required to remove the refrig door before dumping.

and old fridges had a handle rather than magnetized rubber.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #12)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:38 PM

18. but then, that's wayyyy too much regulation ...

What's next? Having to melt the metal down into a puddle so much that it breaks the molecular bonds????


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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 07:42 PM

2. Sad and I do hope he went as quick as they say.

I wonder why there would be a burglar alarm in the cooler?

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Response to siligut (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 07:47 PM

3. Maybe it was more of a panic button alarm.

You know, in case someone comes into the restaurant and locks owner/employees in the freezer during a robbery. Just a guess.

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Response to siligut (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 07:51 PM

5. is common

The walk in is usually the "safe room" in a restaurant. Except for the smallest cafes I worked in, there was always a panic button of some kind in the walk in. I suspect both for robbery/invasion and for people getting stuck in the cooler.

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Response to justabob (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:07 PM

11. I am trying to decide if the police should have known that.

Their excuse for not investigating further is that the building was locked up and the lights were out.

If they knew that the button was in the freezer, maybe they would've reasoned that was why they weren't seeing anything from the outside.

They also said that false alarms were somewhat common, so I am guessing that was a determining factor.

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Response to siligut (Reply #11)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:34 PM

16. false alarms are very common..

.. so are lawsuits for damaging property.

it usually falls on the patrolman's head when lawyers get involved.

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Response to siligut (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 07:53 PM

6. I don't know, but I bet a well stocked freezer/cooler in a restaurant is

pretty expensive. Maybe people break in to rob freezers/coolers. The contents of the freezer/cooler might have been the most valuable stuff in the store, I'm thinking of many cuts of meat, etc. I have no idea, just guessing. And as someone else said could have been a panic button of sorts.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 08:37 AM

21. I would think if you're robbing a restaurant you might put all the employees in the cooler. Police


should have definitely went inside and investigated, made sure the scene was really secure instead of "looked secure".

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Response to Erose999 (Reply #21)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 09:32 AM

24. Definitely!!! n/t

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Response to siligut (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 07:58 PM

7. My friend's dad owned a bar.

He had an alarm button AND a shotgun in his basement storage room/cooler.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #7)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:01 PM

9. That sure makes sense to me! SH** happens. n/t

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Response to siligut (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:05 PM

10. That's where they kill you.

Personal experience, friend of mine knifed to death in a walk in. He wrote the killers name on a box with 1000 Island dressing.

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Response to era veteran (Reply #10)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:51 PM

17. Yep. See: Brown's Chicken Massacre

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown%27s_Chicken_massacre
When officers arrived at the building, they spotted the rear, employees' door open. Inside, they found the seven bodies, some face down, in a cooler and in a walk-in refrigerator.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #17)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 06:38 AM

20. Both murderers denied probation last year. We are not forgetting.

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Response to era veteran (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 10:50 AM

26. That appears to be a different murder. n/t

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Response to bitchkitty (Reply #26)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 11:32 AM

27. He's talking about his friend's murder not the Brown's murders.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #27)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 12:22 PM

29. Ah - my mistake. n/t

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Response to siligut (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 08:53 AM

22. Because some robbers put victims into a cooler so they can get away.

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Response to siligut (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 11:48 AM

28. because during an armed robbery they commonly put you in the cooler and lock it

while they get away (?)

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:21 PM

13. Carbon dioxide? Did he trip the fire extinguisher system? n/t

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #13)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:22 PM

14. news typo??

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #13)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:29 PM

15. The power was out

And he had dry ice in the freezer so died within minutes.

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Response to TNDemo (Reply #15)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:50 PM

19. Oh, didn't see that. Thank you. n/t

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Response to TNDemo (Reply #15)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 12:48 PM

31. I worked on an Ice Cream truck that used dry ice

Late in the day, when the stock was getting low and a lot of the dry ice had melted (evaporated), and you would almost have to crawl in to reach the product, the inside of the freezer was filled with CO2. I learned quickly to take a deep breath and hold it when I "went in".

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 09:07 AM

23. One time at my job I had to remove an old refrigerator from a six foot deep concrete pit

I worked in this old industrial laundry in college/law school and one day it was decided to clean up this pit (we were going to put in a new bathroom and uncovered this pit - about ten by ten by six deep. In the pit was an old refrigerator, with the beehive on top. It was heavier than fuck and so I had the bright idea of taking the beehive off so we could hoist it out of there. So I undid the freon lines and out goes the freon. Being in a pit, and freon being heavier than air...My buddy finds me a few minutes later, sitting on my ass not able to do much. He went down, grabbed me and got me up the ladder. Almost died down there.

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #23)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 09:36 AM

25. You're very very lucky! Glad you got out OK. When I was a kid my

parents had one of those beehive refrigerators. I remember when they hauled it out is sure was heavy, extremely heavy.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 12:42 PM

30. This is also why you don't take dry ice into an elevator with you

In case the elevator gets stuck.

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