Several Arrested At Local Bar Saturday; Owner May See Penalties PDF Print E-mail
News - Local News
Thursday, 16 February 2017 13:23
The owners of a downtown Summerville bar could face civil penalties after police arrested seven people Saturday.
A 19-year-old Ringgold girl told police officers that bar employees allowed her to purchase and consume alcohol. This is just one of the allegations against the Hops & Haze Brewpub + Vapory owner, Jeremy Kwaterski.   
"I went to Hops and Haze. I told the security that I didn't have an ID and he asked for my birthday. I lied about my birthday to the security guard at the bar and he let me in without marking my hand. The bartenders were not checking IDs. I think they were looking for marks on the hands and if you didn't have a mark, they sold you alcohol. I purchased alcohol in the bar without them checking my ID," Shelby Rena Taylor, the Ringgold teenager said.
Not only did police arrest two for underage possession, cops also arrested others for various crimes, including methamphetamine possession and public drunkenness.
The pub's owner said policemen did their job fairly and blamed the cause of the ruckus on out-of-town patrons.
"Most of these folks where from out of town and didn't understand our laws," Kwaterski said. "It is very important to us to maintain a safe, legal and friendly operation. We support the city police department and the sheriff's department and do not feel that they operated in a negative or unfair manner."
The city council, who acts as the alcohol commission for the town, may have a meeting within 10 days to decide if the pub will be penalized. Summerville Police Captain Harold Tucker is gathering information about the incident to present to the council.
"We are still looking into it. We are going to give them what information we have and let the city council determine what penalty to give them," Capt. Tucker said.
The pub sold tickets for a comedy event at the downtown theater that started around 7:30 p.m. Saturday. 
We had a spectacular sold out concert event and comedy show at the Dandee Denson Auditorium . . with over 290 tickets sold. A vast majority of these folks where from out of town. After the show, a great deal of them came over to Hops & Haze. A lot of folks where standing around outside and someone started an altercation. We asked the person to leave and they would not. We flagged down an officer and asked them to remove the person from the premises. They did. Thereafter they proceeded to check the rest of the people standing on the sidewalks for intoxication and then arrested a few for loitering," Kwaterski said.
Officers Lebron Jackson and Harley Elliott were the first cops to arrive.
"Upon our arrival, an extremely large crowd of an estimated 100 plus was standing on the sidewalk that stretched from in front of the Chattooga County Commissioner's office all the way into the parking lot of Jefferson's Restaurant," Officer Elliott said.
Bouncers from the bar were escorting 28-year-old Kyle Brandon Jett, of Bluntsville, Ala., away from the brewpub as officers arrived. 
"The male in the red shirt appeared to be very irate, shouting and appeared as if he was going to become combative with the security staff," Officer Elliott said.
Jett allegedly tried to engage in a fight with other patrons at the bar. He was arrested for disorderly conduct and public intoxication, according to police reports.
Officer Jackson, noticing the large crowd that gathered on the sidewalk, started ushering folks back inside.
"Myself and only two of several security staff began to give everyone in the extremely large crowd verbal commands to get back inside the Hops and Haze Brewpub at that time until the situation was resolved. Most complied. While a few subjects attempted to stay outside, they did eventually follow commands to enter back into the Hops and Haze Brewpub," Officer Elliott said.
Around this time, 9-1-1 dispatchers received a call that teenagers were consuming alcohol inside the business. Summerville Police and deputies then went inside the business and started looking for underage drinkers.
First they checked the bar and found a man passed out.
"This subject appeared to be intoxicated to a state that he was face first passed out on the bar while patrons continued to be served alcohol around him without any of the Hops and Haze Brewpub staff offering assistance or trying to wake up and remove the subject," Officer Elliott stated. 
The bouncers took the extremely intoxicated man outside and allowed him to leave. Officer Jackson had requested the man to stay but bouncers allowed the drunk man to leave.
As officers looked around, they found the 19-year-old Shelby Rena Taylor, of Ringgold, with alcohol.
"She was consuming alcohol and had in her possession alcoholic beverages."
Officers also arrested 20-year-old Tylor Cain Davis, of Stevenson, Ala., for underage possession.
"[Davis] at Hops and Haze drinking beer. [He] stated he had a few," officers reported.
While officers were dealing with the underage drinkers, a 30-year Gaylesville man, Justin Lee Koonce, started yelling obscenities toward the cops and women in the bar.
"[Koonce] should **** the police one more time and then grabbed a female patron and began to kiss her. . . "[He] actually kissed a female that was a stranger against her will," Officer Elliott stated.
Koonce was arrested for disorderly conduct, according to reports.
Officers also noticed a man in a black leather jacket trying to avoid the cops. They cornered him up and questioned him. 
The man was identified as 36-year-old Daniel J. Lewis, of Chickamauga. 9-1-1 dispatchers said they received calls that Lewis was trying to sell meth to customers inside the bar.
"Mr. Lewis was found to have on his person a pack of Marlboro black cigarettes with a clear crystal substance believed to be meth. In Mr. Lewis' jacket pocket, I located a clear plastic container with a clear crystal substance believed to also be meth," Officer Elliott stated.
Another customer, J. Homer Heath, of Dalton, was arrested for public intoxication. He was outside the bar.
In addition to the arrests, officers also noted a large amount of debris left from the pub's patrons.
"A large amount of debris related to the Hops and Haze Brewpub was discovered in the area. These debris consisted of items such as beer cans and bottles, glassware, cigarette butts, empty cigarette packs and other miscellaneous restaurant/bar style facility items were located on the sidewalk alongside Commerce Street, on the parking lot of Jefferson's Restaurant, on window sills of the Chattooga County Commissioner's office, other local businesses along Commerce Street and also in the parking lot of the Fist National Bank," Officer Elliott stated. "At an earlier date over the weekend, Hops and Haze Brewpub staff was seen by officers blowing this debris with a leaf blower off the sidewalk and Hops and Haze Brewpub property into the parking area on Commerce Street. . ."
In an unrelated event from earlier in the day at Hops and Haze, 55-year-old Deborah Ann Barton, of 111 Dandelion Drive, of Summerville, was arrested for loitering and prowling, according to police reports.
"She was prowling around town talking to self. She was asked to leave Hops and Haze several times but continued to return. This was [her] third related incident," Officer Elliott stated.
She was arrested around 1:50 a.m.


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