A Bar Fight Circa 1967, Another in 2013

February/04/2013 6:30AM
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It never stops. My Dad told me a story about breaking up a fight between a husband and a wife and getting hit in the back of the head by her purse and needing stitches. He said never step between spouses when they are fighting, but  if you do, keep your eye out for the wife. Like most good lessons Dad taught, this one never took.

In 1967 my new bride and I were living in a small town outside Muncie, Indiana. I was a rep for what was then Standard Oil of Indiana. I called on our service station dealers. The local dealer where we lived was the president of the American Legion in town. He invited us to join him and his wife there for dinner. The dealer’s name was John.

It was a basement bar and restaurant, typical of American Legions’s back then. We were barely seated when John said “oh, oh”. He pointed out that a young lady coming down the stairs was the wife of a man he called Geronimo, who was sitting with another young lady at a nearby table. John said,” I’m going for the cop”. Cop meant a 300 lb. guy who slept in his cruiser outside the place.

The action started before John got to the stairs. The wife walked up to the table and delivered a right hook to the jaw of her husband’s lady friend knocking her out of the chair. Geronimo, who must have thought his was bad manners, grabbed the wife by the hair and delivered her head to a nearby table. Everything on the table went airborne, including bottles and glasses resulting in people nearby being cut and women screaming. No one moved, and the head hit the table a second time. I jumped up and ambushed Geronimo from the rear and put him in a bear hug. We did a crazy dance around for a while with him trying to kick me and spit on me. He was a big guy and pretty mad, and all my college wrestling experience was needed to keep him upright and tight. I heard what I thought were ribs crack, his, not mine. Finally, it seemed like a long time, a little guy came out of the crowd and punched Geronimo right in the chops while I was still bear hugging him. I decided I wasn’t going to be a part of this. Me holding the punching bag while the little guy beat him to a pulp, so I turned him loose. The little guy beat it for the stairs. Geronimo took a look at me and the little guy and decided he would chase the little guy down, so up the stairs he want. Everyone was trying to help people who were hurt and still present, including women who had cut legs from flying glass. Some were trying to buy me drinks. My wife and John’s wife had seen enough and we left. The cop, by the way, said it was a private club and he had no jurisdiction, and went back to sleep.

To my knowledge no charges were ever filed. My wife was nervous for weeks that Geronimo might come after me because of the cracked ribs. It was a very small town, but I never saw the man again. It was all resolved that night just like the westerns we used to watch at the Saturday matinees.

When I read this article it reminded me of that situation. This is what happens in 2013 in Naperville, Illinois when a man is trying to choke his girl friend on a dance floor.

Two charged in downtown Naperville bar fight

  • Two people were arrested and two others were cited early Sunday morning after a fight at a downtown Naperville bar, authorities said Monday.

The dispute occurred at 12:44 a.m. at Rizzo’s, 6 W. Jefferson Ave., when a man grabbed a female by the throat on the restaurant/bar’s dance floor and tried to choke her, Naperville police Sgt. Lou Cammiso said.

Two male friends intervened, “trying to stick up for the girl,” Cammiso said, while a bar employee who tried to stop the fight was injured when the female hit him in the face with her stiletto style shoe.

Police arrested and charged Kenneth S. Davis, 21, of the 500 block of Donna Avenue in Aurora, and Jessica M. Manchur, 27, of the 600 block of Grove Drive in Elk Grove Village, with fighting under city ordinance. Authorities said Davis instigated the fight and Manchur struck the employee with her shoe.

The two others who intervened in the fight were cited under the city’s fighting ordinance but were released at the scene.

One of them suffered facial lacerations and was transported to Edward Hospital for treatment.

The above story from the Daily Herald.

So the two men who saved the girl from being choked were arrested at the scene. They violated the city’s fighting ordinance. And, like Dad said, the girl who was being choked sent the bar employee to the emergency room after hitting him with her stilletto heel. The two brave guys were released. How gracious of the Naperville police to drop the fighting ordinance violation. Released means they only spent an hour in the police cruiser with their handcuffs biting their wrists.

In my case, the cop left it to the patrons to save the woman. In Naperville, the cops arrested the patrons who saved the girl and the girl, who evidently didn’t want to be saved, put another guy who was trying to help in the hospital. Dad was right. No wonder cops say domestic disturbances are the worst calls.

Then, we all wonder about the stories where someone is being injured or killed and no one comes to the rescue, they just watch. Your reward could be an arrest, a lawsuit, or getting smacked in the face with a stiletto heel. But, if you don’t, sleep may come hard for a while.

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