The owner of the nightclub where a beloved doorman was stabbed to death early Sunday morning gave his account of the killing after two men were arraigned on murder charges Wednesday afternoon.
Dave Powell, who owns Tres Gringos Cabo Cantina and San Jose Bar and Grill, on Thursday said that 35-year-old Frank Navarro had worked for his company for over 15 years.
Navarro started working as a security guard at Voodoo Lounge, which was open from 1999 to 2011, and worked for Tres Gringos for over 15 years, Powell said.
Navarro worked as a security manager for Powell's nightclubs for over a decade.
"He was that guy who was always there for a helping hand and he never expected anything in return," Powell said. "He was a good dude."
Powell was at a birthday party on Saturday night, but he rushed to Tres Gringos when general manager Kenny Hamilton called him and said Navarro had been stabbed in the neck.
By the time Powell arrived, Navarro was already in the ambulance that would take him to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, where he later died.
According to witness accounts and security video that Powell saw, a man and woman walked up to the door and showed the doorman ID to enter the club.
Powell said his doormen always scan ID cards and, in this case, the ID did not belong to the man showing it.
It was not clear to Powell whether the man who showed the fake ID was one of the defendants, who are 24 and 32. Powell does believe, however, that one of the defendants stabbed Navarro.
Powell said club-goers over the age of 21 often try to show fake ID if they have had their license taken away by court order.
He added that the man likely would have been turned away anyway for dress code violations. Tattoos on the neck or face are not allowed at his club, Powell said.
The man who was turned away for the fake ID got upset and tried to start a fight along with one of his friends, Powell said. About 15 minutes later, the men returned in their car and confronted the security guards.
"Like the cowards they were, they attacked my guys from the side," Powell said.
Navarro was stabbed after he jumped in to break up the fight.
"I want people to know how good of a person Frank was. He was a gem," Powell said of Navarro, who was the president of an East San Jose baseball league and coached baseball and football at Overfelt High School.
"He cared for a lot of people. He was the heart and soul of Eastridge Little League," Powell said, adding that Navarro did everything for the league from coaching and administration to buying snacks or mowing the grass on the field.
"They have suffered a tremendous loss in Frank Navarro," he said.