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Victim dies after assault at West Fargo bar

Robert 'Bobby' Balboa, 53, died on Aug. 28 at Sanford Hospital after spending 8 days in the ICU...
Robert 'Bobby' Balboa, 53, died on Aug. 28 at Sanford Hospital after spending 8 days in the ICU following a fight at a West Fargo bar.(Balboa family)
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 1:03 PM CDT
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - After spending over a week in the ICU, a man died over the weekend after an assault at a West Fargo bar.

53-year-old Roberto Balboa, also known as Bobby, died at Sanford Hospital on Aug. 28. Balboa leaves behind a wife of over 20 years and six children.

35-year-old Tomas Cervantes is charged in the assault with felony manslaughter and aggravated assault.

Cervantes mugshot
Cervantes mugshot(Cass County Jail)

Court documents say Balboa was attending a concert at the Speedway Events Center at 680 Main Ave. W. on Aug. 20 and was pushed by a male in the early morning hours of Aug. 21. When Balboa turned around to see who pushed him, he was struck in the face, knocked unconscious, fell and hit his head on the concrete floor.

Officers spoke to a security guard the day after the assault. The bouncer told officers he was helping with another fight when the incident with Balboa happened. Documents say the security guard stated he saw someone push Balboa, then saw another man punch Balboa. He told officers one of the other security guards was trying to get the suspect out of the vehicle to have him speak to police, but the car fled the scene. A photo lineup was shown to the bouncer, where documents say he pointed towards an updated Facebook photo of Cervantes and identified him as the suspect.

Officers spoke to another witness who stated she saw a man push Balboa and when he turned around to see who pushed him, Cervantes punched him with a closed fist. The woman positively identified Cervantes as the man who hit Balboa.

The manager of the event center told police there were issues with the security cameras because of the rain, but would try to have someone help him get footage to investigators.

The man who first pushed Balboa has not been charged as of this publication. Documents say when questioned, the man told officers he pushed Balboa when Balboa approached him, but told officers ‘Tomas came out of nowhere.’ and was surprised by Cervantes’ actions.

When questioned by investigators, documents say Cervantes admitted to punching Balboa once, but initially said he did it in self-defense.

‘However, based off his statements which indicated the victim’s body, nor his face was pointed in the direction of Cervantes, he did not identify clear reasons why he feared’ Balboa, court documents say.

A GoFundMe has been set up for the family. You can find it here.

This is a developing story. Stick with Valley News Live as we continue to follow this case.

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