A homeless man has been arrested and accused of murder in the cardiac-arrest death of a 45-year-old Minneapolis man after they got into a fight outside an E. Lake Street restaurant, authorities said Thursday.

The apprehension of the 29-year-old suspect in the death early last month of Jimmie Ray G. Herron Jr. occurred late Tuesday afternoon in the 400 block of University Avenue in St. Paul, said Minneapolis Police Sgt. William Palmer.

The man, who police were led to thanks to a tip, has yet to be charged and was being held without bail in the Hennepin County jail on suspicion of murder. The jail log lists him as being homeless and from Minneapolis.

Herron died March 4 at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), a few hours after getting in a fight outside Denny's in the 2700 block of E. Lake Street. The assault on Herron was a complicating factor leading to the cardiac arrest, the medical examiner's office said.

Herron's mother, Assata Damani, said her son "wasn't one to start conflicts, but he wasn't one to back away, either." She said he had been sick with the flu, and it was the first time he had left his home in about two weeks.

In the moments after the fight, his mother added, Herron called a relative about the incident and said he had gotten into a fight with two people.

Palmer said Thursday that he only knows of the one suspect being involved in this death. The man's criminal history in Minnesota includes two convictions for terroristic threats, and one each for drunken driving and fourth-degree assault.

According to police:

Shortly before 1 p.m., police were called to the fight outside Denny's. Herron complained to officers about having heart trouble that followed the fight. His adversary had left the scene, and Herron said he didn't want police to do anything about the conflict. Police have not said what prompted the fight.

Emergency medical personnel took Herron to HCMC, where he died less than two hours later. Herron had a history of heart disease, the medical examiner's office said.

Herron was born in South Bend, Ind., and played chess starting at age 4, according to Herron's family. He graduated from St. Mary's University in Minneapolis with a master's degree in computer and information technology, his death notice said, and was getting started on a doctorate at the time of his death.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482