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Sunday, February 01, 2015

Halftime Sports Bar Shuttered by MPD (UPDATED)

DSC_0077

The above notice was posted on the door to Halftime Sports Bar

On a day when one would expect to see crowds gathered in local sports bars, Halftime Sports Bar (1427 H Street) sits empty. A notice posted in the front window indicated that the MPD closed the bar down effective 11:12pm January 31st. I was first alerted to this situation by Chris Miller (who is the ANC Commissioner for 6C05) via Twitter (@cemiller9903). Miller indicated that he was on an MPD ride-along last night when an officer informed him that there had been an altercation on Friday and the MPD had discovered that the owner of the establishment had a gun in his possession. I ventured over earlier today to verify the closure. Upon sitting down to write this post I realized that Jay Williams (former ANC rep. from ANC 6A and current Chair of the ANC 6A ABL Committee) was tweeting more details about the incident. Among these details: the owner allegedly pulled a gun during the altercation and MPD Chief Cathy Lanier is recommending that the bar's liquor license be revoked. Ultimately that decision rests with ABRA, but Lanier has the ability to shutter an establishment for up to 96 hours if she:

"finds that continued operation of [an] establishment would present an imminent danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the public; that there is an additional imminent danger to the health and welfare of the public by not closing [an] establishment; and that there is no immediately available measure to ameliorate these findings."

According to its Twitter feed, Halftime featured a live band on Friday.




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UPDATE 
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Jay Williams emailed me a copy of the letter from MPD regarding the event. It seems to be missing part of a page (Williams received it in this condition), but the story is insane. It says that Halftime owner Karl Graham allegedly pulled a gun and threatened to shoot someone who was arrested for destruction of property at the establishment after he allegedly broke glasses and knocked things over. MPD recovered an H&K 40 caliber semi-automatic .40 caliber pistol from Mr. Graham. MPD appears (this is where it cuts off) to have taken a report for an assault with a dangerous weapon.

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 6.22.55 PM

SECTION MISSING FROM LETTER

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 6.23.13 PM
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UPDATE
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The following was posted to an MPD listserv yesterday:

Re: [MPD-1D] Daily Crime Report - 1D
An argument inside the Halftime Sports Bar between two employees led to the victim being threatened with a handgun. This case was close with the arrest of the offender and the establishment has been closed for 96 hours but the Chief of Police pending a hearing by the ABC board. 

Thank you. 

Cmdr. Jeff Brown
First District
101 M St SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 299-2037

On Feb 1, 2015, at 4:24 PM, ****** ******** j******@gmail.com [MPD-1D] <MPD-1D@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


Can you please provide more info about this incident? Thank you. 

PSA: 104
CCN: 15015202
RPT DATE: 01/31/2015 02:11
OFFENSE: Assault W/Dangerous Weapon
METHOD: Adw -- Gun  
BLOCK: 1401 - 1433 BLOCK OF H STREET NE
LOCATION: Bar/Night Club
START DT: 01/30/2015 18:00
END DT: 01/30/2015 18:05

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 1, 2015, at 2:57 AM, mpd.reports@dc.gov [MPD-1D] <MPD-1D@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

PSA: 104
CCN: 15015202
RPT DATE: 01/31/2015 02:11
OFFENSE: Assault W/Dangerous Weapon
METHOD: Adw -- Gun 
BLOCK: 1401 - 1433 BLOCK OF H STREET NE
LOCATION: Bar/Night Club
START DT: 01/30/2015 18:00
END DT: 01/30/2015 18:05
__._,_.___
Posted by: "Brown, Jeff (MPD)" <jeff.brown@dc.gov>

33 comments:

RPW said...

Liquor license is listed as from the old beach bar. I thought that was transferred to the Elroy. Wouldn't the owner have to apply for a separate liquor license for an additional establishment?

inked said...

RPW,
I'm told that the Elroy recent sold, so this might reflect that.

inked said...

recently, not recent.

h st ll said...

This spot is cool. Mr. Graham has always been nice when I have met him and no one was actually shot or stabbed in the incident as detailed here. Sticky Rice got a pass when someone was actually stabbed there. He should get his license back asap imo

Anonymous said...

if an owner pulls out a gun on someone cause the owner was told his food sucks, that place needs to be shut down

Anonymous said...

LMAO. "Mr. Graham has always been nice..." Yeah. Except for that part where he pulls firearms on patrons. He should definitely get his license back.

inked said...

There are still a lot of facts we don't have yet, or that are currently unclear. I don't know that the individual on whom the owner allegedly pulled a gun was a patron. The MPD email suggested that both were employees. I've also heard a version in which the mystery complaintant is not an employee of Halftime, but someone with whom the owner had other business dealings. I don't know all the facts here yet, and I suspect that most of us are in the same boat. Hopefully we can read the ABRA report soon.

pat said...

I don't know about ABRA regs, but since
the supreme Court ruled in Heller, don't
the people have a fundamental right to keep
guns at home or work?

Anonymous said...

To own a gun in DC you are suppose to get a license I think.
Where is the bouncer? As the owner of a bar you should not pull a gun. Hopefully this was not case.

Doug said...

Maybe this guy had a perfectly legitimate reason to pull his gun. It does say that his bar was being destroyed. Glasses were being thrown. He may have been threatened with assault and others may have been in danger as well. Pulling out his gun may have safely diffused the situation. No one got shot. Let's not be so quick to judge.

This guy is a law abiding business owner who no doubt has to regularly carry large sums of cash in neighborhood where there are no shortage of dangerous criminals. Him having a gun for self defense is perfectly okay.

I would say this seems like a gross over reaction by the police. Unfortunately these are the laws YOU voted for. Hope you people are happy that this mans life has been ruined and his business destroyed. Meanwhile the real criminals are laughing it up cus they don't need a license for their business and the gun laws don't effect them one bit.

grahamgrj said...

Thank You Doug..

Anonymous said...

knocking things over really requires a gun to be pulled on someone

pat said...

Doug

the letter says "Glasses were breaking and property was being knocked over"... Not "Glasses were being thrown". It could be an angry person broke a glass on the floor and when challenged, flipped over a bar stool.

This is a bar, with alcohol. People do stupid things in them. The key is to defuse them. Pulling a gun should be reserved for the most offensive conduct.

Anonymous said...

what's the latest on that sports bar on 6th?

inked said...

11:18,
They have signs up, but that's the latest that I know.

Doug said...

@Pat
As much as you enjoy getting drunk and going on rampages, throwing public temper tantrums, and destroying things, that's not actually okay. If you can't go out and have a drink at a bar without doing stupid things of that caliber you have a problem. Grow up and learn some self control.

For those who do act that way, eventually someone with a gun is going to show up and force them to stop. Had that someone had a blue shirt and a shiny badge I'm sure you wouldn't have any objections. What makes this any different?

Annoyingmous said...

Doujg: Did you not bother to actually read the letter? The incident where the gun was supposedly drawn was *a completely separate incident* from the one where glasses were breaking and stuff was being knocked over.


Doug said...

@Annoyingmous
You're right, I guess I should have read more closely. It looks like this guy who was so mad at the bar owner he started flipping tables over, after being arrested, claimed that earlier in the day the owner threaten him with a gun. Which no one else witnessed or could corroborate.

So all we can really be sure about is that the proprietor owned a gun and that this other guy knew about it.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Anonymous said...

Well, I was there to see the chaos. The band had just took a break, and it was pretty quiet. I didn't see the guy who raised hell come in, but at one point I noticed a commotion over at the bar. The next thing we knew, there were glasses being smashed, and this guy was screaming, "F*** that sh**!!" The guy he was with was trying to calm him down and get him out the door. Then as they got to the door, this same guy started screaming and yelling again,came back and knocked over two tables with glasses on them. Then he went outside and started raising hell with some more people. Then we noticed this older guy at the bar who was holding a napkin up to his mouth and there was blood everywhere. We don't know if this guy got punched or had a glass shoved in his mouth or what, but he was bleeding from the mouth. That's about the the time the owner ran outside behind this guy. We heard one of the guys in the band say that the guy that went nuts was the owner of the bar next door. Anyway, police were in and out for the rest of the night. In the middle of all that the band got up and started playing "Happy" by Farrell and did another set.

Annoyingmous said...

Doug: we don't know whether anyone else witnessed or corroborated the allegation -- unless you're with MPD or the USAO. Are you?

As for your second point, we know a little more than that. We know that in addition to owning a gun, the owner had the gun with him at an establishment he owns where alcohol is sold, which tends to make ABRA unhappy as it's still against the law.


Anonymous said...

Gun registration law in DC allows a firearm to be held in registrant's home or place of business. Makes no mention of alcohol.
Annoyingmous may be thinking of the concealed carry permit regulations that prohibit carrying into an establishment serving alcohol.
If the bar owner has a properly registered firearm, he can keep it at the bar. Whether he used it prudently is another issue.

Doug said...

@Annoyingmous
That's my whole point, the only thing the guy is really guilty of is owning a gun and that it's ridiculous that that in itself has been turned into a crime in this city.

Annoyingmous said...

Anon 7:50pm -- I base my comment on this Post story, which seems to me to indicate that even post-Heller, DC law explicitly states that firearms still "cannot be carried into D.C. schools, hospitals, government buildings, public transportation vehicles, establishments that serve alcohol, stadiums or arenas, or within 1,000 feet of a dignitary under police protection."



Annoyingmous said...

Doug -- actually, no, assuming the Post is correct, it's not the case that "the only thing the guy is really guilty of is owning a gun." What he's guilty of is taking it to a place that serves alcohol.

Anonymous said...

The Post article is discussing emergency legislation that expired on Dec. 23. It's moot. DC law specifically allows a registered firearm to be kept at the owner's place of business, and it has no exception for when that place of business serves alcohol. See Section 22–4504.01 of the DC Code.

Anonymous said...

Never "assume the Post is correct" when they write about firearms or legislation covering them. They hate guns and make no effort to report accurately on the topic.
There are essentially two types of regs: those covering registration of firearms (handguns and long guns) that allow people to possess them legally and a second set of regulations that allow residents and non-residents to obtain permits to carry concealed weapons (handguns) in public places. There are many ways in which these regulations conflict but the Post generally conflates them.

Anonymous said...

the TV's in that sports bar weren't that spectacular

Anonymous said...

There is a new sign up. Says the suspension is indefinite.

Anonymous said...

Even in most places with fairly lax gun laws, bars are off-limits for having a weapon. Alcohol and weapons don't mix, and most laws reflect that. I say this as someone who previously held a (rarely used...I obtained the permit to make transporting weapons, largely to and from the shooting range, less cumbersome) concealed carry permit in another state.

Besides that, a gun should only be unholstered or pointed at a living being (human or otherwise) if your life is in immediate danger. I say that as someone who by-right open carries in the same aforementioned state when I join my family in some range time and don't feel comfortable leaving the weapon in the car if I stop off along my way to pick up a snack or drink (since I am no longer a resident and, therefore, no longer have the CCW, the gun must be unloaded and secured in the car, but there are some places I *still* don't feel safe leaving it locked in the carry box locked in the trunk). I also say that as a woman who has been heckled by "good old boys" for open carrying. Despite my extreme desire to teach them a lesson in not taunting someone CARRYING A GUN (I generally don't load it before bringing it in to the convenience store/gas station, but they don't know that), I am legally required to keep my gun holstered unless and until they IMMINENTLY THREATEN MY LIFE OR WELL-BEING. Taunts don't count. Flipping over a table doesn't count. Breaking a glass doesn't count. Even throwing the glass at me would be a questionable reason to pull my weapon, as a thrown glass is generally not life threatening unless it's being thrown at me by an MLB pitcher or NFL quarterback, or their very next move after throwing the glass was to pull their own weapon or charge me with the clear intent of hurting or killing me.

If you want to have a lethal weapon (and, IMHO, even a non-lethal one), it's on you to own, store, carry, and USE it responsibly. Sure, we don't have all the facts here, but nothing about what we know leads me to believe the bar owner was in a position where pulling his weapon was justified. I only carry pepper spray in DC (yes, I've registered with MPD), and I have NEVER actually pointed it at another human. Nothing that has happened to me has risen to the level of "imminent danger to my life or well-being" that would justify even pointing it, much less using it.

Anonymous said...

TL;DR

Anonymous said...

He definitely didn't use it, he just allegedly threatened to. It's not even clear that he is being accused of actually pointing it either. "pulled a gun" could be interpreted a lot of ways.

Either way though at this point it's just an allegation. One from what I would consider a questionable source based on his behavior leading up to the accusation. Also, it seems a strong possibility that he knew Graham outside of this situation and may therefore have become aware of the existence of the firearm under much more innocent circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Even if he didn't use it, storing it at a *bar* is poor judgement. I'm not ready to throw the book at the guy for that stupid mistake, but he should face consequences severe enough that he doesn't have a gun in a bar again, and properly registers any gun he owns otherwise.

Anonymous said...

TL;DR...shot someone, felt I was justified, went to jail. Murica! I can only HOPE that you end up in one of my classes, so I can either knock some sense into you or kick you out...