UPDATE CKWS News
By NICK GARDINER, THE RECORDER AND TIMES
GANANOQUE – Charges are expected to result from a huge brawl that left two men injured, including a police officer, at the Riverside Bar and Grill on King Street East at closing time early Saturday morning.
Gananoque Police Chief Kai Liu told The Recorder and Times Monday that charges are being considered against participants in the huge fight, as well as the bar owners for failing to maintain control of its patrons.
Liu said the rumble involved more than 50 people and called it “a preventable event” that put the public and the police in danger.
He said the bar appeared to be overcrowded and inadequately staffed. When things turned rowdy, they were unable to cope.
“We’re looking at charges. We will be working with our liquor licensing enforcement partners to address the problems that fuelled this situation,” he said.
Similarly, charges are likely against people involved in the fight, but it is unclear how many people will be charged. Liu said additional complaints may still be filed and other witnesses may come forward with information. He said OPP were called in to assist Gananoque police with the large crowd and they brought the situation under control in about a half-hour.
The worst of the injuries resulting from the incident are a suspected broken ankle suffered by one man and a head and neck injury to a police officer who was knocked to the ground. In the first instance, the victim was seen by paramedics on the scene, but he refused medical attention and left the area with others in the crowd, said Chief Liu. In the second, an officer attempting to gain control of the crowd was pushed indirectly and fell to the ground and hit his head. Liu said the officer completed his shift but later sought medical attention and will be off work for a few days recovering from a sore neck and head.
As police chief for three years, Liu said he has never seen anything like this in Gananoque. He said it was a poor way to enter the Christmas weekend. Moreover, the brawl remains a huge concern because it runs counter to the police service’s top priority of maintaining public safety, he said.