Manager of Bar Where Alleged Queer Bashing Happened Needs to Talk With Police, Not Survivors

This caught my eye in a City Paper blog post about the recent alleged queer bashing at Margaritaville on the South Side.

Emprez and JourDyn's injuries after alleged assault at a Pgh bar over queer identity.
Emprez and JourDyn’s injuries after alleged assault at a Pgh bar over queer identity.

At least one other in the group suffered minor injuries and an employee of the bar was also injured but not hospitalized, according to Brad Rizzo, the bar’s manager, according to PLCB records.

Rizzo says the fight in the bar was unfortunate, and that he believes he knows who the aggressors were. He’s says he’s tried to reach out to those organizing the rally, but has not talked to them yet.

“I do believe I have some information that may help. But no one has returned my calls,” he says.

He says he has taken steps to prevent future incidents, adding extra security and prohibiting beer bottles. Alcohol will be served only in plastic cups now, he says.

“I just hope everyone is OK,” Rizzo says.

Actually, Mr. Rizzo, your bar’s policy is to permanently ban people who were thrown out for fighting so Emprez and JourDyn really can’t drop by for a chat.

But more importantly, Mr. Rizzo has information related to a crime and he’s waiting for the survivors to contact him? What? Why? He should have shared that information with the police immediately. There’s no reason for the survivors to contact him. It isn’t a negotiation or a mediation. A crime took place. Margaritaville has a responsibility to EVERYONE, including LGBTQ patrons, to report what they know.

I also think it is actually a crime itself to withhold information that might solve a crime.

For the record, I am trying to confirm that Mr. Rizzo reached out via telephone to the event organizers. And I did suggest to the victims that they contact the police directly about this latest detail. They agreed.

Let’s hope Mr. Rizzo shows the same common sense.



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