Crime

‘Did you call her a tramp?’ Warrants describe headbutt, punches and final fall

A man who died in June after an altercation at a downtown bar was seen and heard arguing with a woman just before the incident, according to recently released court documents.

On June 5, police responded to Social Games and Brews at 1007 W. Main St. around 10:15 p.m. and found Edward “Teddy” Tivnan, 50, unresponsive. He was taken to Duke University Hospital, where he died two days later.

Daniel Peter Mohar, 35, of Wake County, was charged with first-degree murder and released from jail on July 17 on a $250,000 bail.

Efforts to reach Mohar’s attorney Monday were unsuccessful.

Durham police investigator J.P. Mitchell wrote in recently released search warrants that video from the night shows Tivnan outside Social Games and Brews near Brightleaf Square arguing with the woman. The search warrant sought access to witnesses’ phones and other communications.

The woman told police Tivnan “came on to her very strong which made her feel uncomfortable,” but that he never grabbed or touched her. She said her friend Mohar then came around the corner toward Tivnan.

The video shows Tivnan walking away from her, according to the warrants, when Mohar comes around the corner, moving aggressively toward Tivnan.

“Did you call her a tramp?” Mohar asks Tivnan.

He then headbutts him in the forehead, according to the warrants. Tivnan falls to the ground, out of the view of the camera.

Mohar tells Tivnan repeatedly to “get out of here” and then “‘I’m not going to let you up,” the warrants state.

“You then can hear several more punches” before Tivnan’s head hits the sidewalk, the warrants state.

A witness told police he saw a man punch another man, who fell backward and cracked his head on the sidewalk, according to the search warrants.

Mohar had worked as a door man at the bar about six months earlier, the warrants state.

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Edward “Teddy” Tivnan died June 7, 2019 after an altercation at Durham outside Social Games and Brews in Durham. Daneil Mohar has been charged with murder in his death. Photo courtesy of Teddy Tivnan's family

Previous assault charges

Mohar has been convicted of at least three misdemeanors, according to a state Department of Public Safety website.

In 2011, he was convicted of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.

After his initial arrest in this case, a prosecutor said in court that Mohar had been charged with assault numerous times but that most were dismissed, The News & Observer’s newsgathering partner ABC11 reported.

“There are multiple individuals who have called our office to express that Mr. Mohar has a history of assaultive conduct,” Assistant District Attorney Daniel Spiegel said then.

Tivnan was a recently divorced father with three daughters, ages 17 to 30, according to his brother Paul.

The two brothers were close growing up, Paul Tivnan said, recalling Teddy taking apart Paul’s crib when he was a baby so they could play together.

Teddy Tivnan was a hard worker who always provided for his family, Paul Tivnan said.

“He was very outgoing,” his brother said. “Not a mean spirited bone in his body. He never met a stranger. He was always just a likable person.”

Teddy Tivnan’s obituary said he commanded a room with his big smile and personality.

“When not entertaining those around him, Teddy enjoyed watching endless episodes of MASH 4077 and The Munsters, as well as the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Jaws movies, creating floral arrangements or anything in neon colors, making his family laugh, eating Chinese lunches with his mother, and inspiring others through his cooking skills,” the obituary said.

Virginia Bridges covers criminal justice in Orange and Durham counties for The Herald-Sun and The News & Observer. She has worked for newspapers for more than 15 years. In 2017, the N.C. Press Association awarded her first place for beat feature reporting. The N.C. State Bar Association awarded her the 2018 Media & Law Award for Best Series.
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