Man dies following fight at Belleville bicentennial celebration

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) - A husband and father is dead, following a fight that broke out after Belleville’s bicentennial celebration this past weekend.  Now, the victim’s family is devastated not only by his death, but the fact that the suspect may never face charges.

According to Paul Dontigney, his 48 year-old brother, Marc, was at the Beach Boys concert in Belleville Friday night, and went to Club Escapade with his wife and some friends after the concert was over. He says Marc Dontigney was outside waiting for a cab, when suddenly someone ran up and knocked his wife to the ground.

“My brother was like a bulldog, if you bothered someone in his family. So I imagine he right away, probably grabbed hold of the guy,” Paul Dontigney explains.

A fight between the two men ensued.  Belleville Police say the suspect knocked Dontigney to the ground.  “Hard enough to hit his head. We have not been able to see him yet, but they said there was a good gash in his forehead. Apparently he went unconscious and never regained consciousness,” says his brother.

According to the St. Clair County Coroner, Dontigney died from an underlying medical condition, not from his head injury.  The 48 year-old had a quadruple bypass last year, but his brother would be shocked if the fight was unrelated to his death: “Something caused the cardiac arrest. I think he was back in good enough health that he didn’t just fall over.”

Now, the St. Clair County State’s Attorney is waiting for the full autopsy report and toxicology results, before deciding whether the suspect will face charges.  He was released from jail on Sunday.

Dontigney is survived by his wife, three children and several grandchildren.  The family is now trying to raise funds for hospital and funeral expenses, and money to care for his widow.  “Sherry, his wife, is going blind from a degenerative eye disease. She lives on disability, which is not much. So now she’s left without any income from him, and just her disability to get by on,” explains Paul Dontigney.

The family is accepting donations online at You drop off a donation at Paul Dontigney’s business, Ghost Vapors, located at 204 West St. Louis Street in Lebanon, Illinois.

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