Suspected DUI driver in custody after motorcycle crash kills local bartender

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Suspected DUI driver in custody after motorcycle crash kills local bartender

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Atlanta police investigated a fatal crash on Ponce de Leon Avenue and Clifton Road on Thursday. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM
  • Story Highlights
  • The driver of a Porsche SUV was arrested.
  • The driver allegedly dragged the motorcyclist several feet.
  • The crash shut down all lanes of Ponce de Leon Avenue at Clifton Road for hours.

A man suspected of driving while intoxicated was arrested Thursday morning after a crash in northeast Atlanta that killed a local bartender.

About 4 a.m., a man driving a silver Porsche SUV crashed into a stopped motorcyclist at Ponce de Leon Avenue and Clifton Road, dragged him several feet and pushed the bike through the intersection, Atlanta police night Cmdr. James D. Patterson said.

The victim was 31-year-old Patrick Kuhen, who worked at the Bon Ton Boil House, a Vietnamese-Creole restaurant that opened earlier this year in Midtown.

The restaurant’s co-owner, Eric Simpkins, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “It’s been a hard day. Our work family has been in shock and dismay, but we’re attempting to cope together at the restaurant today. ... He really meant a lot to all of us. Easily one of the best bartenders I have known, and an even better human being and friend."

APD Cmdr. James Patterson describes motorcycle crash that shut down Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta. Video by John Spink/AJC

The restaurant also released this statement:

“He was a co-conspirator, a leader, a mentor, a confidant, a counselor, a gentleman, a scholar, most importantly he was a true friend, and one of the most genuinely good people many of us have had the pleasure of knowing. His generosity of spirit, and conscious honesty, obvious passion for life, and open nature inspired all of us.”

Patrick Kuhen (far left) with his co-workers at the Bon Ton, where he was the head bartender. (Credit: Bon Ton Boil House)

The restaurant was closed temporarily Thursday but plans to reopen Friday. It will host an event to celebrate Kuhen’s life Monday from 5 p.m. to midnight.

Tarus Riggins (Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office)

The driver of the SUV, identified as Tarus Riggins, 35, was charged with homicide by vehicle in the first degree, DUI and following too closely.

The investigation blocked Ponce de Leon Avenue at Clifton Road for four hours. Lanes reopened about 8 a.m.

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