At least four injured in Whiskey Rush brawl in Aspen | AspenTimes.com
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At least four injured in Whiskey Rush brawl in Aspen

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times

Whiskey Rush is facing a potential suspension or revocation of its liquor license after it allegedly failed to report a bar brawl to police early Thursday morning in which multiple people were lacerated or injured by glass objects.

According to an Aspen Police Department affidavit, two officers responded to a medical call at the Galena Street bar around 1 a.m. Thursday and made contact with four injured individuals. Among them were two males tending to wounds with blood-soaked rags and a female who was holding a bandage to her forearm. The female explained to officers that she had been cut by glass thrown in a fight on the Whiskey Rush dance floor, according to the affidavit.

Though no charges have been filed, police spokeswoman Blair Weyer said the department has identified two suspects on potential charges of disorderly conduct and second-degree assault. She did not reveal the names of the individuals allegedly involved in the incident.

In the affidavit, officer Jeff Fain states there are sufficient facts to determine probable cause that Whiskey Rush violated the law by failing to immediately report the incident to police. The Local Licensing Authority is set to address the matter during a special meeting Tuesday. Whiskey Rush ownership could not be reached for comment.

As described by Fain, officers Kirk Wheatley and Forrest Barnett were initially approached by four young women, one of whom was holding a bandage to her forearm. A man holding a blood-soaked rag to his forehead then approached Wheatley, saying an unknown individual had struck him with a glass object on the dance floor. The officer said the man had a laceration on the right side of his head and behind the eye, a large bump on his forehead and lacerations on his right ear.

A third individual approached police while pressing a blood-soaked towel to his right hand and nose. After an ambulance arrived and transported the first two injured individuals to Aspen Valley Hospital, a fourth individual contacted officers, saying an unknown individual had heaved a beer bottle at her inside Whiskey Rush. She was observed as having a bump on her forehead and a watery eye.

While this was happening, a Whiskey Rush bouncer was holding a man against a police patrol car, according to the affidavit. A woman began pushing the bouncer when Barnett attempted to separate the bouncer and the man.

While medics attended to three individuals, Wheatley interviewed the second injured male, who claimed he had been pushed twice by another man on the dance floor. According to the affidavit, after the second push, the man took a few steps back and the pusher tossed alcohol from his drink at him. At that point, the man felt something hit him on the left side of the head, which he believed to be a bottle. He raised his hand to cover his face and was struck with the glass again on his hand and nose, according to the affidavit.

A bouncer from the bar asked if the injured man was OK and told him to wash himself off in the bathroom, the affidavit states. In the bathroom, another man came in wearing a blood-soaked shirt. According to Wheatley, police obtained information about the man with the bloody shirt, who allegedly ran from the bar and was later contacted at home by Officer Chip Seamans. Seamans transported the man to the hospital.

Wheatley later interviewed a friend of one of the victims at Aspen Valley Hospital. The friend said he saw two fights that night and did not know the person who was allegedly striking people with a bottle, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit states that during the incident, a Whiskey Rush employee phoned a non-emergency police line for an ambulance at the request of a female patron, but the establishment failed to immediately report the disturbance to police.

Weyer said three people were transported from the scene of the incident to the hospital, and one refused medical care. She said she could not comment on their medical statuses.

herk@aspentimes.com


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