St. Louis Police Patrol Car Crash at Gay Bar Results in Co-owners Arrest Amid Assault Accusations

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The local LGBTQIA+ business Bar PM, owned by Chad Morris and James Pence, was struck by a police cruiser, leaving the St. Louis community in disarray. 

The unsettling incident unfolded around 12:30 am on Monday, shocking the married co-owners as they were jolted awake by a thunderous crash.

The crash involved a St. Louis police patrol car driven by two probationary officers new to the force. Initially reported by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department as a result of the driver overcorrecting due to perceived proximity to a parked car, conflicting details emerged from Pence, alleging that the officer swerved to avoid hitting a dog.

Pence described being roused by the noise, rushing downstairs to find the police vehicle embedded in their bar’s front. He recounted the officer’s apology, claiming the officer asserted swerving to dodge a dog. 

However, amidst the commotion, tensions escalated, leading to a confrontation between the officers and the bar owners.

St. Louis Demands Transparency Amid Community Concerns

st-louis-police-patrol-car-crash-at-gay-bar-results-in-co-owner's-arrest-amid-assault-accusations
The local LGBTQIA+ business Bar PM, owned by Chad Morris and James Pence, was struck by a police cruiser, leaving the St. Louis community in disarray.

Morris addressed the officers as the situation developed, claiming that he was the target of a homophobic remark during the chaos. According to Pence, this altercation became more intense and resulted in a physical brawl between Morris and the officers.

Morris faced initial charges of third-degree assault and was detained until Tuesday morning, later downgraded to fourth-degree assault and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors, by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.

Attorney Javad Khazaeli cited existing video evidence refuting the charges, portraying the officers as the aggressors, and asserting Morris’ innocence.

Amidst growing public outcry, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Circuit Attorney’s Office, and the mayor’s office remain silent on the incident. Lt. Col. 

Renee Kriesmann mentioned that bodycam footage is under review, while confirming that the officer admitted to distraction by adjusting the in-car radio before the crash, without subsequent toxicology tests.

The unfolding circumstances prompt urgent demands for transparency and accountability, fostering community concerns over the handling of the situation and the treatment of LGBTQIA+ individuals by law enforcement.

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