Taser Used on Drunken Patron in St. Charles; Case May Fuel Debate on Bar Hours
St. Charles police responded to three fights and a man passed out in a downtown parking lot over the holiday weekend before the City Council tabled action on a proposal to require bars to close at 1 a.m.
St. Charles police used a Taser to subdue an intoxicated man who, according to officers, had accosted two individuals and then displayed his fist and approached an officer in a fighting stance when the officer told him to calm down on Friday night.
It was one of three instances of violence and another of public drunkenness police responded to in the four days leading up to Tuesday’s St. Charles City Council meeting, where a Naperville attorney representing 11 bars and restaurants asked city officials to delay a proposal to cut back their hours from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m.
The proposal was made last month by Mayor Donald DeWitte in response to a spike in the number of fights in one weekend early in the month. DeWitte at that time said police told him the individuals involved in the fights were highly intoxicated, which indicated some local bars and restaurants were over-serving customers who already were intoxicated.
Expressing frustration at the spike in spite of a meeting with local liquor license holders in May to discuss the same issues, DeWitte said he believed it was time to cut back the closing time for St. Charles liquor license holders in an effort to curb the violence and ensure the city streets remain safe. He also expressed concern for St. Charles police; one officer was assaulted while responding to one of the fights during the weekend spoke in early August.
The proposal was met Tuesday night with a full house in the City Council Chambers as bar and restaurant owners turned out to listen to attorney Russ Whitaker plead with the council to delay cutting back bar hours and to open a dialogue to resolve the fighting and over-serving issues.
The council tabled the matter until Sept. 24, and talks were to be scheduled between Whitaker and City Administrator Brian Townsend, Police Chief Jim Lamkin and Mayor DeWitte, who also serves as the city's liquor commissioner.
The spike in street fighting over the Labor Day weekend likely will be mentioned in those talks.
Officer Wields Taser
The incident involving the Taser occurred Friday night and ended when John David Thompson, 24, of the 1600 block of Indiana Street, was taken to the Kane County Jail on two felony counts of aggravated battery.
Police were called to the 1400 block of Indiana Street at 11:06 p.m. to find Thompson struggling with two St. Charles residents amid a crowd of people that included another adult male, a woman and children.
When an officer instructed Thompson to calm down, police said he raised his fist and approached the officer aggressively in a fighting stance, so the officer used a Taser on him.
A woman and a man at the scene told police Thompson aggressively confronted them individually. The woman told officers Thompson pushed her during a confrontation he started as she was getting out of her car with her children. The woman took her children into her home, which is when the other victim told police that Thompson then turned on him.
Police said the men they first encountered struggling with Thompson identified themselves as his friends and said they were trying to calm him down and get him out of the area after he had become belligerent with the woman and then the man.
Later, while booking him at the St. Charles Police Department, police said it was obvious that Thompson was highly intoxicated. He was transported to the Kane County Jail pending a court appearance.
Then on Saturday, police were called at 9:32 p.m. to a fight in front of McNally’s Irish Pub, 109 W. Main St. William J. Fenton, 32, of the 1000 block of Millview Drive, Batavia, and William E. Landrum, 35, of the 1900 block of Chase Lane, Aurora, were cited with under a city ordinance that prohibits fighting. Both men also were informed that they no longer are welcome at McNally’s.
An incident early Sunday morning involved no violence but may be relevant to the city’s concerns about over-serving alcohol. Police found Joseph J. Deutsch, 25, of the 2000 block of Best Place, Aurora, unconscious in a parking lot at 2. E. Main St. at 2:09 a.m. He was cited with disorderly conduct/public drunkenness at 2:09 a.m. He was fined $50 and released to his parents.
The final incident occurred at 1:53 am. Monday when police were called to a report of a fight in which a Montgomery man and two Aurora men said they were victims of an assault by a group of men who chased them to the 400 block of West Main Street. When police arrived, their alleged assailants were gone, but witnesses said the victims had provoked the confrontation. Police said all three victims were intoxicated and could not provide descriptions of their assailants. One victim was transported to Delnor Hospital where he received several stitches.