Port Huron man dies after altercation at local bar

Port Huron man dies after altercation at local bar
Posted at 9:24 PM, Nov 04, 2023

PORT HURON, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Port Huron NAACP is responding to the death of a Port Huron man who a friend says died after an altercation spilled out from Roche bar.

The statement reads as follows:

To all concerned...

The Port Huron Branch of the NAACP is officially calling for an open and fully transparent investigation, with outcome released in its entirety of information surrounding the actions that led to the death of Mr. Joshua Conant, on November 4th, 2023 at a bar establishment on Quay street in the city of Port Huron.

There now is a loud outcry for justice that will only become louder from the Port

Huron community until there's satisfaction that justice is served.

The NAACP extends heartfelt condolences to the family and pledges that we will be a watchdog ensuring that a proper and full investigation is carried out bringing to light what led to such a tragedy.

Accountability is what we seek, Justice is what we demand.

Port Huron NAACP

Joshua Conant lost his life early Saturday morning.

“He was a great guy, he didn’t deserve what happened to him,” said David Hart, one of Conant’s best friends.

Hart had been friends with Conant since Kindergarten. Conant was 26 years old when he died. Hart says Conant’s death has been hard on everyone who knew him.

“He meant a lot to us, he was really the glue to our friend group and around town, he meant a lot to everybody else as well, Hart said. "He was very involved in drag racing community which Port Huron is very passionate about.”

According to Hart, Conant was inside of Roche bar on Quay street around 2 a.m. Saturday morning when a fight broke out inside the bar.

Hart says bouncers ended up bringing Conant outside and holding him down on the ground.

“Josh was never in a fight, he never struck anybody last night,” Hart said. “He was trying to break up a fight and the bouncers always go for the big dude and I think that’s what happened.

According to Port Huron Police, during the time Conant was on the ground, he stopped breathing. The police put out a statement saying:

 “Once officers arrived on scene, they helped secure the individual being held down by bar staff and immediately recognized that the subject was unresponsive. The officers and bar staff immediately began performing life saving measures while waiting for emergency medical services to arrive.”

It’s unclear at this time what caused Conant’s death. Hart says he thinks more could’ve been done to save him.

“As soon as the police arrived, Josh was unconscious, so I’m very confused as to why he was handcuffed while unconscious,” Hart said.

7 Action News tried to reach out to Roche bar to see what they had to say about this incident. The bar was closed Saturday afternoon and the phone number associated with it was out of service.

“Josh, he didn’t deserve this at all,” Hart said. “I think egregious error on part of the Roche security team as well as the Port Huron Police that responded to the situation.”

Michigan State Police will be taking lead on this investigation. There's no word yet if anyone will be charged in Josh Conant’s death.