Shots fired during fight outside Matey’s

November 28, 2018

MICHIGAN CITY – Shots were fired and one man was arrested, though no injuries were reported, after a large fight outside a lakefront restaurant early Sunday morning, according to police.

Michigan City Police responded just after 3 a.m. to a 911 call from Matey’s Restaurant at 110 Franklin St. about a fight in progress and shots fired, according to a police report.

Officers arrived to find a large number of vehicles leaving the area, and the 911 caller pointing out a blue SUV that was attempting to pull out of the lot.

The vehicle was flagged down, and police found a handgun in the lap of the driver, who was identified as 34-year-old Branden Hewlett of Michigan City, the report said.

The gun, a .40 caliber Glock 23 with a 22-round magazine inserted, was not listed as stolen, but police said Hewlett did not have a permit to be carrying it. He was removed from the vehicle and handcuffed.

A female passenger was also in the vehicle, apparently sleeping in the front seat, and there was a small child, about 2 years old, laying across the back seat, who appeared uninjured, police said.

The woman told police they had returned from a wedding and Hewlett wanted to go to the bar, so she and the child waited for him and slept in the vehicle. She said she woke to the sound of people running around, but did not hear any gunshots.

The witness told police they saw Hewlett shoot into the air 4 or 5 times, and another man also fired shots into the air. She said she saw three fights break out before Hewlett fired the gun, police said.

Someone pushed Hewlett and she thought Hewlett was going to shoot the man, but but both men ran off instead.

Police found several shell casings and unspent rounds in two areas of the parking lot, but could not find the other man who witnesses said had fired shots.

Police said no one was struck by any of the shots that were fired, but a woman had fallen inside the bar during one of the altercations. She said she was trying to get out of the way of the scuffle and slipped, hitting her head.

The bar bouncer gave police a gold iPhone that had been found in the parking lot after the fight. The phone rang and an officer answered. The caller said it was his phone, and he was told to come to the Police Station to pick it up, but never did.

Hewlett was arrested and charged with felony criminal recklessness and misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a permit. He was being held on a $1,500 cash bond in the La Porte County Jail, and his next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 7 in Superior Court 4 on the handgun charge.

—From staff reports

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