FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) -An early morning fight at a popular Ft. Lauderdale restaurant and bar ended with one man stabbed to death and four others treated for cuts and bruises.

Ft. Lauderdale police spokesman Sgt. Frank Sousa said it happened just before 3:30 a.m. at Fishtales Bar on NE 33rd Street, just blocks from the beach across from Galt Ocean Mile.

According to witnesses, it all began when 54-year old James Pagano tried to break up a fight. In his attempt to break up a fight, witnesses say Pagano was stabbed. The man accused of starting the fight is 39-year-old Brian Krebs who had been drinking at the bar. Sousa said Krebs argued with Pagano and eventually became so enraged that he drew a knife and stabbed Pagano. Two employees of the bar and two other people who struggled to hold Krebs until police arrived were also injured.

Friends describe Pagano as a good friend and a great musician.

“He was just a huge part of the music community in South Florida. He’ll be greatly missed so it’s just a devastating loss,” said Jessie Thompson, a friend.

Jessie Thompson is also a musician and has played numerous times at Fishtales. On Sunday afternoon, she returned to pay her respects.

“He was just such a wonderful man. I live nearby. I didn’t get to say goodbye obviously, none of us did. So just being able to leave a little bouquet of flowers made me feel better,” Thompson said.

Pagano loved to play the drums and is seen on several videos posted on YouTube playing his heart out at the Fort Lauderdale bar.

His neighbor Gene Perih said, “he was very involved in his work as a drummer. He would hold charity events. He took his work serious and was a very outgoing guy and I’m sad to see this has happened.”

Others simply expressed disbelief.

“I’m really surprised. Shocked to hear that you know that’s a sad thing,” Phil Petress, his former neighbor told CBS4’s Tiffani Helberg.

Arriving officers took Krebs into custody. He was then taken to Broward General Medical Center to be treated for injuries.  Charges are pending.

Anyone who was at the bar and saw what happened is asked to call Detective William DeJesus at (954) 828-5366.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (32)
  1. sabrina says:

    another fine example of how macho men and alcohol don’t mix-really??? had to KILL someone???OMG RIP DA-now Brian can spend his young life in a 6 x 9 cell forever-was it worth it????

    1. miejo says:

      can bartender refuse alcohol to such man and call the police when he realise that the drinker had to much.to drink…

      1. Don Martin says:

        Yes, not only that, he can be held responsible if it is discovered that he knowing served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person. It is incumbent on the bartender/establishment to scrutinize the overall condition of a patron and to keep track of the amount of alcohol consumed by that customer that day, as well as any potentially disruptive behavior, or rapid changes in that person’s behavior.

      2. Perry Williams says:

        What country or planet are you from??? Don’t tell me… you are from South America, right? A first grader writes better than you. They offer free English classes at night at your local high school. They way you write it seems you had too much or too mush to drink… BURP!

      3. Rocky Ricardo says:

        Your comments do not make sense. You are from South America, right? Please, do use us a favor for those of us who still can read Ingles (English) go take an English class at your local high school. When your writing improves, then you can start posting. I am sure the moderator would agree.

    2. Fed Up with Idiots says:

      It’s not “machismo”. It’s plain ol’ “idiocy”. Not the same.

  2. Tricia Cline says:

    Jimmy Pagano was a loyal friend to Kathy, owner of Fishtales. What a horrible loss for Fishtales and the music/service industry.Hopefully a lesson in witholding our anger will be learned. Peace and music, love and light….

  3. MIKE says:


    1. yokolee says:

      guess the only one who agrees with you is me….alcohol do kill

      Condolences to the family

    2. Fed Up with Idiots says:

      Prohibition didn’t work, so humankind has to annihilate itself in order to “learn” the lesson, albeit after death. Alcohol is just one symptom of “addiction” and the real problem is addiction, and the inability to cope with stressors. When will humans learn? Never.

  4. joe says:

    White on white crime???

  5. abootnkiki says:

    If jimmy was such a loyal friend to the owner then why would he argue with her staff instead of just leaving and reporting anything to her??? & why would anyone post their phone number where everyone can see it unless it is for a business opportunity;all the crazies out there;that is why there will always be trouble in this society

  6. Kentucky Parkis bassist says:

    RIP to my dear friend Jimmy, hot headed but a good man to everyone at heart. He was a kind and loyal person who will leave a big hole in the S. Florida music scene. We played together for 5 years. I will surely miss him.

  7. ella demaio says:

    I have no clue who u are. however what u just wrote was not necessary nor needed RIP Jimmy

    1. Laura says:

      That comment is discusting

  8. abootnkiki says:

    what happen to my comment?cbs4?something i sais was wrong?

    1. Kay says:

      Why do you live here?? This is exactly what I don’t understand about people that I see here day in a day out bashing Miami, Miami-Dade, hispanics and every other minority. If you don’t like it then move!!!!! and if you can’t move then stop whining like a little girl!!

  9. doreen says:

    Sheriff Willie,
    You do not have a clue about what you are talking about……you are truly ignorant. God Bless James Pagano

  10. Sis of Bruce says:

    Jim was a dear friend of my brother Bruce and Jeff and Lil Dave they were in a band together for many years and although they broke up and went there separate ways they remained like brothers. Jim will be terribly missed by them and all who knew him rip dear Jim.

  11. Shecky says:

    Check out the suspect’s facebook page…some eerie quote about death on the page. Creepy

  12. Solomon Randelman says:

    sorry to hear of this tragic & sad news….i’ve played at fishtales onec about 9 months ago with my band Simone & The Supercats…..very nice place & nice folks who work there……my condolences to Mr Pagano’s Family & Friends and everyone @ Fishtails………

  13. Carolina says:

    The ” Street Of Dreams ” has ………………………..endless Dreams……………..

  14. Carolina says:

    I pray for the gentleman who jumped in to try to do the right thing….. God Willing……… will, Recover Safely for their kind hearts………Love Ya Johnny Splits…. and Guy ! I am not aware of the kind others, involved to help…I apologize……………

  15. Mike says:

    This is why I don’t go out at all besides going to work and shopping for necessities. South Florida is a zoo and as soon as I am able to financially to get the fu*k out of here, I’m gone. Drivers and people here are so third world and have absolutely no ethics or soul. Finally, learn English! You’re in an English speaking country now, so learn it (Miami Dade).

    1. Phil Landers says:

      @Mike the guy that did the stabbing was as white as an arctic winter FYI.

    2. Kay says:

      What does this have to do with this case??? Weren’t both males white and probably english speaking?? I swear sometimes I cannot believe how ignorant people can be!!

    3. Kay says:

      You want to speak about good grammar…”concerned about listening to THEIR pit-bull songs” maybe you should check your own 🙂

  16. Local yokel says:

    Everybody knows fish tales is a local coke den.

  17. Luis Bonilla says:


  18. D. Gold says:

    This isn’t only an alochol problem. I met Brian last year a few times and this guy had TONS of meds! Drugs were a huge issue here. Thank god I caught the warning signs and stopped speaking with him. Everyone effected by this are in my prayers…. I hope Brian rots in jail.


  19. Rocky Ricardo says:

    D. Lamont, yes I agree. No one speaks English in Mi-jami nor do they want to learn. The immigrants that have been here since the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and still only speak Spanish are a disgrace. I like the way “meijo” says only proper English is spoken in London. Another favorite that the ignoramuses write when you say they are dumb immigrants is “the only Americans are the Native Indians. Please, S. Americans / Cubans learn some English at your local High School, and then take an American History Class.

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