A melee involving about 50 people, some wielding baseball bats and at least one gun, resulted in two arrests and Des Plaines authorities shutting down a local sports bar late last week.
Police arrived at the scene outside Casa Azteca sports bar, 647 N. Wolf Road, about 8 p.m. Oct. 20 to find numerous subjects fleeing the area, said Des Plaines Police Deputy Chief Nick Treantafeles.
Officers found a man unresponsive, lying face down on the grass outside the bar with multiple bruises and lacerations on his head. He was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Treantafeles said.
Another male victim with a golf ball-sized bruise on the right side of his head refused medical attention, he added.
The fight started with a verbal altercation inside the bar where a group was celebrating a birthday party, and soon spilled outside into the parking lot where it got physical, Treantafeles said.
“Looks like it was over a woman,” he said. “Numerous patrons began fighting as well. At one point there was fist fighting, at which time somebody pulled out a black, semiautomatic pistol and pointed at the victim (who was taken to the hospital).”
Police arrested Jovani Gomez, 26, of the 500 block of Wimbledon Drive, Prospect Heights, and Gabriel Guzman, 28, of the 2200 block of West Nichols Road, Arlington Heights, on felony charges.
Gomez hit one victim on the head with a beer bottle and kicked a man who had fallen down in the head, police said. He’s charged with aggravated battery and has been released after posting 10 percent of a $50,000 bond.
Guzman pulled out a semiautomatic pistol and pointed it at someone who fled inside, authorities say. Officers did not find the weapon on Guzman but found it in a car next to which he had been standing, according to police.
He is charged with aggravated assault and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon due to prior conviction on a weapons offense. His bond was set at $100,000 and he remains in the Cook County jail, police said.
On Oct. 25, Des Plaines police served notice to Casa Azteca owners that the bar’s business and liquor licenses had been suspended and the business will remain closed until further notice.
It’s the first time Des Plaines police have shut down a bar this fast, Treantafeles said.
“This was not your typical bar fight,” he said. “The mayor’s office thought that it would be best to close them right away ... due to the volatile situation and the potential for not only the officers, but the neighbors and citizens possibly getting hurt.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.