Utter Chaos Erupts At Overcrowded West Side Nightclub
CHICAGO (CBS) -- Police discovered complete chaos when they were called to a West Side bar early Friday morning.
As WBBM Newsradio's Mike Krauser reports, the utter pandemonium at Bricks' Sports Bar and Grill, at 4422 W. Madison St. in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, included a fight, two car crashes and a man shooting a gun wildly into the air.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Mike Krauser reports
Police were called to the bar around 1 a.m., after a patron called to complain the venue was dangerously overcrowded.
When officers arrived, they were not allowed inside, and the doors were locked. All the patrons were trapped in the bar.
Eventually, someone got the doors open and many people left, police said. Officers counted 273 people leaving the 99-person capacity bar.
But the officers had to abandon their count early, because they found a man firing a gun in the parking lot across the street.
The man quickly got into his 1998 Lexus and sped off, police said. He crashed at 10 S. Kostner Ave. and fled on foot.
Police did not catch the man, but they did recover a gun in the car. No one was injured by the man's gunfire.
At the same time, two women were fighting and one got in her car and tried to leave, police said. Several patrons tried to stop her, resulting in her crashing into several parked cars and hitting one patron, who was taken Stroger Hospital of Cook County in good condition.
The woman was arrested for driving under the influence, and police are seeking felony charges.
"This location is a problem in our district," Harrison District Lt. Steven Sesso said, adding that police had been called there on several other occasions because of overcrowding.
He said the bar has a Consumption on Premises-Incidental Activity License, which requires that serving alcohol be secondary to another activity, in this case serving food. When police searched it, they found no evidence of any food being served except a single box of chicken wings in the refrigerator.
The owner, identified by the Chicago Tribune as Bettie Johnson, 56, of the West Side, was cited for reckless conduct for locking the doors and was cited for violating the liquor license, police said. Sesso said she had been cited before for the same license violations.
Sesso said he is planning to ask the Illinois State Fire Marshal to inspect the club, though by law it can continue to operate unless the state Liquor Control Commission revokes its license.
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