Man Set On Fire In Fight Over Bar Tab, Suspect At Large

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A fight over a bar tab in Port St. Lucie ended with a man rushed to a burn unit in Miami.

As the search is on for the person who did it, police released the dramatic and frightening surveillance video from Neely’s Grog House.

The victim, identified as Brian Johnston, suffered burns to his arms, face and chest.

The owner of the bar said Johnston is married to a bartender who refused to take a personal check from the suspect, because his checks had bounced in the past.

“I hope he pulls through because he’s a really good friend of mine,” said Sean Tutterow.

CLICK HERE to watch Rick Folbaum’s report

The suspect was identified as Ivan Rodriguez who had been kicked out of the bar Sunday night but police said Rodriguez returned a short time later and threw gasoline on Johnston.

The victim chased Rodriguez outside where a fight broke out and that’s when police said Rodriguez set the man on fire.

Another customer was also seen trying to tackle the suspect in surveillance video but he got away.

“Brian has a lot of good friends, a lot of good family and we’ll find this guy,” said Tutterow.

Authorities recovered the suspect’s vehicle, but so far no arrests have been made.

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