Police crash into LGBT+ bar – then arrest the owner

An LGBT+ bar was damaged after a police car crashed into the front, then the owner of the bar was arrested

Amelia Neath
Friday 22 December 2023 09:13 GMT
Community speak out after police car crashes into LGBT+ bar and later arrest owner

An LGBT+ bar in St. Louis was crashed into by a police patrol car on Monday, then the owner of the bar was arrested, local reports say.

The St Louis police car crashed into Bar:PM around 12.30am after it allegedly swerved across multiple lanes of traffic and into the building as it was closing up, Riverfront Times reported.

Chad Morris, also known as Chad Wick, 37, was arrested by police after he allegedly began to “shout obscenities” after the collision and “struck” an officer hard in the chest with his hand, causing the officer to lose his balance, a probable cause statement obtained by the outlet said.

The statement then claims that Mr Morris tried to flee into a gangway between the bar and another building, closing a gate on the officer as he did.

Mr Morris was arrested and is now facing a charge of felony assault on an officer and misdemeanour resisting arrest, the local outlet said.

The co-owner of the bar, James Pence, spoke to the outlet and claimed that it was the police who came into the bar aggressively despite crashing their car into the building moments before.

He claimed that Mr Morris was filming the crash scene when three officers “went for him.”

"He raised his arm, and they said he hit them," Mr Pence told the outlet, who was also cuffed at the scene.

In a statement to The Independent, a spokesperson from the St Louis Metropolitan Police Department said that the police responded to a call about a ‘department accident’ at Bar:PM when an officer driving “believed he was travelling too close to a parked car and attempted to correct himself” and crashed into the bar.

They said the owner became “upset over the incident” and when an officer tried to calm him he “shoved” him in the chest and was eventually pinned down to the ground after another officer tried to handcuff him.

Mr Morris was then taken to hospital by police over a pre-existing condition.

The damage left behind by the police car crash (KMOV)

Twenty minutes of bystander video footage captured during the incident assessed by Javad Khazaeili, Mr Morris’ attorney, allegedly shows a different story to the one police are currently telling, saying that the whole video apparently does not show Mr Morris striking an officer.

"This is embarrassing for the police department," Mr Khazaeli said to the news site.

"I’m hopeful that the prosecuting attorney’s office, when they see the evidence that we have, dismisses these charges and holds the police accountable.”

"They unlawfully handcuffed Mr Pence," his attorney claimed.

"They falsely claim that speaking loudly is against the law. And they use that as a predicate to arrest Mr Morris."

A police incident report obtained by Riverfront Times allegedly said that the car was driven by a 32-year-old probationary officer who had been with the department for less than a year.

Frequent Bar:PM-goers and the local community have already started to repair the front of the building where the police car crashed into.

Mr Morris is currently being held without bond and an investigation is ongoing.

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