Nashville Bars Cleared Of Any Wrongdoing In Riley Strain Case

WZTV FOX 17 News, Nashville / Facebook

The disappearance and subsequent death of Missouri student Riley Strain launched several different investigations, one of which was to determine if he was over-served at any establishment in Nashville.

Strain and his fraternity brothers were bar-hopping on Broadway, the main street in Downtown Nashville, on March 8. Strain’s night out ended at Luke’s 32 Bridge, where he was served one drink before being escorted out due to “conduct standards.”

A bartender felt Strain was too drunk, so they kicked him out. Strain’s fraternity brothers did not leave with him, but they planned to meet back at their hotel. Strain never made it.

His fraternity brothers reported him missing the following day when they realized he wasn’t there.

Police were trying to piece the rest of Strain’s night together and found security footage of him stumbling down the street,

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Sadly, Strain’s body was found in the Cumberland River on March 22.

A preliminary autopsy was completed immediately, with the results being released the next day. The report indicated there were no signs of foul play, but toxicology reports could take weeks, maybe months, to come back.

Strain’s family decided to order their private autopsy as well, believing there were other factors at play.

Kelly Avellino / WZTV FOX 17 News, Nashville / Facebook

On June 18, the official autopsy and toxicology reports were released, confirming their original report that there was no foul play. Strain’s official cause of death was drowning and ethanol intoxication or alcohol poisoning.

Strain didn’t have any significant trauma or broken bones, but he did have a substantial amount of fluid in his lungs, which a person will get if they drown. Additionally, his blood alcohol content was .228, and he had nicotine and THC in his system.

The Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) released the findings of its investigation on June 27.

They determined that Strain was not over-served at any establishment the night he went missing.

The report read, “It appears overserving to a visibly intoxicated person did not occur to Riley Strain during his visits to all (four) premises. Mr. Strain remained stable on his feet with no visible signs of overserving.”

Strain’s roommate, Braden Baltz, and two other fraternity brothers he was with that night spoke with authorities to paint a picture of their night before Strain was kicked out of the bar.

They started at Miranda Lambert’s Casa Rosa at 4:30 pm. Strain ordered a margarita, but Baltz was curious to know if Strain drank anything else there.

Next, the group went to Garth Brooks’ Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky Tonk around 5:30 pm. The report says, “Records show Strain purchased two whiskey and Coke drinks, one rum and Coke, and two 5% alcoholic seltzer beverages at that establishment.

The group next visited Garth Brook’s Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky Tonk at about 5:30 p.m., Baltz said in the TABC report. Records show Strain purchased two whiskey and Coke drinks, one rum and Coke, and two 5% alcoholic seltzer beverages at that establishment.”

Baltz told TABC that they moved to Luke’s 32 Bridge around 7:45 pm, where Strain had another rum and coke. At 10 pm, they went to Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk. Baltz said he needed to find out if Strain had anything to drink there.

Thirty minutes later, they all returned to Luke’s 32 Bridge, where Strain ordered one alcoholic drink. Baltz heard his friend have slurred speech, so he ordered him two glasses of water. A bartender also heard Strain’s slurred speech and called a bouncer to kick him out of the bar.

The report did not say if Strain was drinking before going to the bars that night if he paid for any drinks with cash instead of his card, or if he had any drinks that were paid for by someone else.

Baltz said he called Strain within three minutes and Strain said he was already “a few blocks away” and on his way to the hotel. The report also said fraternity brothers went downstairs to speak with Strain before returning back upstairs.

The family has yet to make a statement regarding the TABC report.