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Where’s Walsh? A Nashville retrospective

Translating tragedy to safety while out
Shots at a bar

It’s 9:30 p.m., CST. A few rugby players and I are preparing to go out to Broadway Street – the main drag of Nashville’s nightlife. Though it was a bustling Saturday night, perfect for celebration, the five other players and I had thought at least once of Riley Strain. Nashville Metropolitan Police recently found Strain’s body on March 22. 

Though the case of Strain is relatively known, for background, at 10 p.m. on March 8, he was last seen by his Delta Chi brothers on a spring break formal while away from school, the University of Missouri. Starting on March 9, Strain was declared a missing person, and on March 12, surveillance footage was released of him stumbling out of Luke Bryan’s “Luke’s 32 Bridge” establishment on Broadway Street. 

On the week of March 17, as JCU students celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, MNPD officers investigating the banks of the Cumberland River found Strain’s bank card. By last Friday, his body was found on the banks of the Cumberland, and the missing person’s investigation came to an end. 

Though Riley Strain’s sad story made national headlines, it unfortunately might fade soon. What should not leave the public memory, besides this tragic loss, is the fact that such deaths are preventable. 

According to Dallas’ Law, a Tennessee initiative to save lives after a tragic altercation at a bar in 2022, alcohol-serving institutions are required to “have security guards take de-escalation training” as well as possess and train with first aid equipment, including CPR. 

The staff of Luke’s 32 Bridge state they followed the letter of this law. This is a reminder that though yes, there is a responsibility from bartenders to care for their patrons, the first line of defense against loss has to be the patrons themselves. 

The RAIN Network, a national safety institution, creates its yearly recommendations for bar safety, and it implores patrons to: “First, keep an eye on your friends and If you are going out in a group, plan to arrive together and leave together. 

Second, have a backup plan. Sometimes plans change quickly and one might realize it’s not safe to drive home, or the group you arrived with might decide to go somewhere you don’t feel comfortable. In these cases, do what makes you most comfortable and try to follow recommendations one as much as possible. 

Third, know what you are drinking, control your intake and ensure no one is interfering with your drink. 

Finally, check in. Ask yourself how you’re feeling, and how your friends are feeling and ensure you feel prepared for what comes the rest of your night.”

In the end, what happened to Riley Strain was preventable. Though there isn’t quite a Dallas law in Ohio, wherever you drink, whether in the Flats, Fort Lauderdale or in your room, remember to be safe and listen to the strategies listed for safety. 

As for me and my friends from rugby, everyone made it home in one piece and we even met a little furry friend too. 

Nick Jackson
Michael Walsh posing in front of Loo Loo the Highland calf

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About the Contributor
Michael Walsh, World News Editor
Michael Walsh one of two Co-Editors for the World section, is originally from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. He is a Junior double majoring in political science and History. Michael has written for The Carroll News since the Fall of 2023 and has previously been involved as the Global South Beat Reporter. He has received 1 Best of SNO award for his collaboration article "The Israel-Hamas War: what can college students do to help Palestinians?" With Tate Farinacci. Michael Works as well as editing for the Podcast "Kremlin Files" discussing Russian spies and secrets, and the war in Ukraine. In addition to their involvement with The Carroll News, Michael is involved with the speech and debate team, the Gator Rugby Club, and is President of the College Independents at John Carroll. When not writing, Michael manages media projects for the Wilson Center for International Scholars as an intern. Michael also enjoys concerts and travel and loves sharing these experiences with fellow students. In the future, Michael hopes to become a political researcher or to serve in the State Department, as he enjoys interacting with the wider world as much as he can. To contact Michael, email them at [email protected].

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