Beloved Key West regular falls down flight of stairs at bar and dies, police say


A 76-year-old man remembered for his smile and kindness died Saturday, Feb. 20, after police said he fell down a flight of stairs at a Key West bar and guest house.

Robert Duwayne Litz was found unconscious and bleeding at the Bourbon Street Pub and New Orleans House, 724 Duval St., on the deck below a flight of outdoor stairs, according to a police incident report.

Police arrived at the bar at about 10 p.m. on that Saturday. They said the business owner, Joe Schroeder, was performing chest compressions on Litz before first responders arrived and took over CPR.

Schroeder said it appeared Litz fell backward as he was going up the stairs.

Key West Fire Rescue took Litz to Lower Keys Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Two men said they were in their room when they heard a loud noise. They were staying in a guest room right below the stairs where Litz was found, the report states.

A bartender called 911 and one man checked Litz for a pulse, police said.

The investigation remains open until police obtain autopsy results, said Key West police spokeswoman Alyson Crean.

“No foul play is suspected,” Crean said.

Police listed a Key West home address for Litz. His Facebook page says he lived in Oakland Park in Broward County and was also a real estate broker in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Litz was a teacher for many years, having taught English at a high school and a community college, the page states.

He lived in Key West for years before recently moving to the Fort Lauderdale area, said Ray Warren, who was a friend.

“We were all really sorry to see him leave,” Warren said.

Litz liked to socialize in Key West, Warren said, appearing at the locals costume parade during Fantasy Fest and at the tea dances held at the La Te Da restaurant on Duval Street.

“I don’t think I ever heard him say anything bad about anyone,” Warren said. “He was just friendly to everybody. Always smiling.”

Warren said Litz was well-known in Key West circles.

“If you’re going to invite good people to an event, you’re going to invite Duwayne,” Warren said. “He made his mark by being pleasant, which is not a bad way to make a mark.”


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