Fresh allegations hit Brush Creek Saloon
The downtown Eagle bar was shut down for five days in September after a lengthy hearing. At the time, the Eagle Town Board of Trustees, acting as the town’s liquor license authority, imposed the five-day suspension. An additional 20 day-suspension was held in abeyance, to be served if any further violations were proven.
At the September hearing, the town presented a list of nine allegations of over-service of patrons and disorderly conduct at the bar. Judge Buck Allen found evidence to prove five of the nine charges, all of which involved over-service. Since that time, the Eagle police have reported five potential violations of the bar’s probation, four of which involve over-service.
The most serious incident occurred in February, when a man who had been drinking at the bar reportedly shot a bullet into the car of three men with whom he had argued that evening. All had been at the bar just before the incident. The trustees discussed the alleged violations last month, when the Eagle Police Department presented a report on the bar’s activities.
Town Attorney Ed Sands told the trustees they could wait until the bar’s annual license renewal later this year to take up the allegations, or they could schedule a hearing sooner. The trustees opted to act sooner, not later.
“We don’t need to wait,” said Eagle Mayor Roxie Deane. “We can’t sit back another six months on this.”
While Eagle police have been more meticulous in recording their calls to the saloon over the past few months, allegations of over-service are tough to prove, especially in the case of “serving a visibly intoxicated person.”
“That one is tough,” said Eagle Police Sgt. Gary Ward, adding that there is a lot of room for error over the definition of “visibly intoxicated.”
The report by the Eagle Police Department indicates that while the saloon is much better at cooperating with local police than had been previously, there’s still room for improvement. In fact, one of the current allegations against the bar involves a fight in February in which the victim used a cell phone, rather than phone at the bar, to report the incident to the police.
The trustees likely will set a new hearing date at its today, at which Allen likely will revisit case.
Despite another hearing, bar manager Michael Feather, who was brought in after the last hearing, said he thinks the saloon has established a good relationship with the police.
“They’ve been fair, overall,” said Feather.
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