Trial set for bartender charged with injuring woman
MICHIGAN CITY – A local bar owner charged with hitting a female patron in the face with a bottle of liquor confirmed Thursday he is prepared to face a jury beginning Oct. 22.
Gordon R. Gardner, owner of Decoy’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill, will be up against three felony charges – aggravated battery, battery and criminal recklessness – and a potential prison sentence of more than 24 years if he’s convicted in La Porte Superior Court 1.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 29, 2017, police were called to Decoy’s – on U.S. 20 in Trail Creek – for a large fight and found several people outside the bar, including the victim. She had suffered a split lip and a broken tooth when he allegedly threw a bottle of liquor.
Gardner, a La Porte resident, admitted to police that he’d thrown the bottle, but said his intended target was a man who had poured his drink on the bar. Police said he smelled of alcohol and appeared to have glassy eyes at the time.
The woman told Trail Creek police that Gardner became enraged when she wrote “cash” on the tip line of her tab. He told her and her friends to leave if they did not intend to tip him; and then launched the bottle in their direction as they were doing so, she told police.
Police said video surveillance showed “what appeared to be a minor verbal altercation between Gardner and a male subject,” police said at the time.
“Seconds later, officers observed the male subject pour his beverage on the bar then turn and begin walking towards the exit of the building. Officers then observed Gardner quickly walk over to the bar and while standing behind the bar throw what appeared to be a glass liquor bottle in the male subject’s direction.”
Police said the throwing of the bottle is what initiated the altercation in the bar.
Gardner remains free on a $25,000 cash bond.