Weekend street fight in S.C. leads to death of Mt. Lebanon native
Word spread quickly in baseball circles — including the Pirates clubhouse — that Mt. Lebanon native and former high school standout Clinton Seymour was badly injured in a street fight in Charleston, S.C., during the weekend.
Seymour, 27, who recently moved to Johns Island, just outside of Charleston, died on Monday in the hospital where he was being treated for head injuries he received when he was “sucker punched” and his head smacked the concrete ground, Charleston police said.
Pirates second baseman Neil Walker, and his wife, Niki, flew to Charleston on Monday to be with his childhood friend as he lay dying at the Medical University of South Carolina. It was an off day for the Pirates.
“Clint was a dear, special friend to me and my wife. His heart and charisma lifted so many people that he met over the years,” said Walker, who grew up in the Pittsburgh area. “He always had a smile on his face and knew how to make everyone around him smile. He will be missed greatly, but we will always cherish the special memories we had with him while he was on this earth.”
Seymour was unmarried and had no children. He graduated from Mt. Lebanon in 2004, and later played baseball for Eastern Kentucky University as an outfielder. He played with Walker on Amateur Athletic Union teams.
Friends and family changed their Facebook profile pictures to include images of Seymour and posted messages and reminiscences about him on their pages.
Ryan Eckenrode, 27, of Mt. Lebanon, who graduated with Seymour and played baseball with him and Walker, said he and Seymour spoke daily.
“I'm just trying to wrap my head around it and understand it,” Eckenrode said. “Neil flew down there and spent the last hours with him, and I was on the phone with Neil. I told him to tell Clint that I love him and I'll see him soon. Whether Clint could hear him or not, I don't know.”
Charleston police said Seymour was with two friends just after 1:30 a.m. Saturday walking along a street when someone made a joke.
Another group of men heard the joke, and an argument started.
Peter Dudinyak, 26, is accused of punching Seymour, who fell and hit his head on the concrete, police said.
Police charged Dudinyak with assault and battery but said the investigation is ongoing.
Doctors said Seymour had multiple skull fractures and brain swelling, according to the police report. He would have turned 28 on May 5.
Seymour's family said he was in a coma from when he hit the concrete.
“Clint didn't have anything to do with it. Whatever was said, it wasn't said by Clint,” said his father, Don Seymour, 67, of Seabrook Island, S.C. “He was the (designated driver) that evening. He wasn't drunk.”
Seymour said his son moved to South Carolina after Labor Day, recently bought a house and started a job at Merrill Lynch. He was studying for his Series 7 securities representative exam.
“Losing a child is a parent's worst nightmare, but it brings out the best of humanity in terms of people's reactions,” Seymour said. “He touched so many people.”
In death, he touched eight more. His father said eight of his organs were donated.
Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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