PORTLAND – The account given by the security manager at Ri Ra Irish Pub who told Nathan Bihlmaier to leave the bar shortly before he drowned in nearby Portland Harbor is not supported by videotape from the bar, police said Friday.

Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said the department’s investigation into Bihlmaier’s drowning early Sunday continues. He said he never suggested that Ri Ra acted inappropriately.

However, public statements by Scott St. Ours, the doorman who told Bihlmaier to leave at 11:20 p.m. May 19, seem inconsistent, Sauschuck said.

Bihlmaier and two friends had come to Portland’s Old Port to celebrate their impending graduation from Harvard Business School. After being ejected from the bar, Bihlmaier got separated from his friends. He last spoke with them at 12:15 a.m. Sunday. His phone went dead at 12:54 a.m.

His body was found in deep water alongside Custom House Wharf on Tuesday.

St. Ours told television stations that he asked Bihlmaier to leave after Bihlmaier tripped over some band equipment. St. Ours said Bihlmaier left without argument and did not appear overly intoxicated.

“We were having a conversation … (he) was not staggering,” St. Ours said in an interview with WMTW-TV. “I took a walk with this gentleman, offered him a cab two times, asked him where he was staying.

“I wished him a good night at the end of it after he refused my second attempt to get him a cab,” St. Ours said in the interview.

“His speech and his ability to walk was perfectly fine,” St. Ours told WCSH-TV. “He walked down the sidewalk and I returned to Ri Ra’s.”

Police have said they do not know where Bihlmaier was for the 90 minutes after he left Ri Ra until his telephone went dead.

Sauschuck questioned whether someone St. Ours described as “a 2 out of 10” in terms of intoxication would be asked to leave the bar and offered a cab twice.

“He also states he walked him down the street because he was concerned about his well-being and offered to get him a taxi multiple times,” Sauschuck said. “It just doesn’t seem to fit that (low) level of intoxication.

“I have personally seen and read statements from individuals that witnessed Mr. Bihlmaier at various points in the evening, to include comments from an employee from Ri Ra’s that leads us to believe that Nathan was intoxicated the night in question,” Sauschuck said. “Ultimately, we’ll reserve final judgment on that until when the medical examiner’s toxicology comes back with the blood alcohol content.”

The issue could be important if Ri Ra is accused of serving Bihlmaier after he was intoxicated. That is against the law.

St. Ours said the bar did not overserve Bihlmaier.

Sauschuck said the security video from the bar shows St. Ours escorting Bihlmaier from the bar and returning 28 seconds later, which Sauschuck said seems inconsistent with walking a block and a half with Bihlmaier. The video does not show the two outside the bar.

“I want to reconfirm, this has never been about Ri Ra’s. That’s the final location he was seen at,” Sauschuck said.

Police continue to review videotape and examine receipts to determine where Bihlmaier was before and after he was at Ri Ra, said Sauschuck, who would not identify any of those locations.

The owner and management of Ri Ra issued a statement expressing sympathy to the Bihlmaier family.

“The entire Ri Ra staff is terribly saddened by this event, and all of us extend our condolences to the family and friends of Nathan Bihlmaier,” said the statement, issued by owner Jay Luther and group business director James Thompson.

The statement said the bar has worked closely with police, supplying security video and records from that night.

“It is our hope that this will help them piece together some of the events leading up to this untimely and tragic death,” the statement said.

“After a careful review, it is important to note that we fully support our employees and the manner in which they handled the situation,” it said. “Their actions were in full compliance with the law and with our own internal policies and practices.”

Bihlmaier’s death cast gloom over the business school’s graduation Thursday in Cambridge, Mass. His wife is pregnant with their first child.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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