Tempe bar manager suffers brain bleed after being sucker punched, suspect arrested

One slap is all it took.

"He hit me so hard it knocked me out," Tiffany Albrecht said.

Albrecht lies helpless on the floor. The man who struck her is captured walking out the door. Witnesses rush to her side to help. 

"I remember being on the floor briefly, and everyone was just shouting around me because the bump on my head was just so huge," Albrecht said.

Tiffany says it happened at around 2 a.m. on June 24 the Five Star Dive Bar in Tempe. She was closing down for the night but says one man wasn't moving and started calling her names.

"I was going to leave around the bar to go show him the door, I only made it to there, and he hit me," she said.

Albrecht says it happened fast – her head smacked on the concrete floor, causing a severe brain bleed. She was quickly rushed to the hospital.

 "I just crumbled, like I was completely passed out before I hit the ground," she said. "They had to do emergency surgery immediately to save my life."

Police later arrested 37-year-old Ryan McElhannon. According to court records, McElhannon texted his friend, claiming Tiffany was trying to kick them out of the bar and that she would be grateful that he didn't break her jaw.

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Police say Ryan McElhannon punched Five Star Dive Bar manager Tiffany Albrecht, knocking her to the ground. Her head hit the floor, causing a severe brain bleed.

McElhannon is accused of aggravated assault.

The road to recovery for Tiffany is a long one – she suffers through searing pain.

"The staples I have, just kind of constantly feel like it’s a wrench constantly cranking up for some reason, I get these zingers and they hurt," she said.

Alongside her visible, and invisible scars.

"I'm actually nervous to be out in public, and I don't know how to adjust that," she said.

She's now taking it one day at a time, finding strength in herself and her loved ones, hoping justice will soon be served.

"No one should suffer a brain bleed – a massive brain injury where you don’t know what the rest of your life is going to be like, just for doing your job," she said.

Rallying around Tiffany

Of course, it hasn't been an easy recovery. Medical care isn’t cheap either.

So, to show their support, her loved ones decked the entire bar out in balloons and fliers.

A bar regular says "She deserves it" as they put on a music benefit to help Tiffany with the costs of care.

"I got chills when she came in," he said.

With one slap, Tiffany thought life was over.

"I didn’t think I was going to be able to work anymore, communicate properly anymore," she said. "I’m just bursting with love right now."

Everyone was there showing support to the woman they love.

"Tiffany genuinely is a good person," Henry said.

She loves them back, too.

"It’s overwhelming, like the amount of love I’ve gotten. It’s been the whole reason why I’ve been able to make it this far," she says.

Map of where the bar is located: