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MI: Bar patron fired police gun left behind in bathroom by Grand Rapids off

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by JMarch, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. JMarch

    JMarch ♩. ♪ ♫ ♪ ♬♩

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    Mar 6, 2009
    Kalamazoo, MI

    GRAND RAPIDS -- It was employees at Brewstir's who alerted Grand Rapids Police Officer John Guerrero -- a regular at the Allendale Township bar -- that he'd forgotten his service weapon inside a bathroom stall, and that a woman who'd entered the men's room had shot the weapon, sources said. Guerrero, who is on paid suspension while last Saturday's incident is being investigated, came back to the bar to retrieve his 9 mm gun, but left before Ottawa County sheriff's deputies responded to the complaint, sources said.
    The Allendale Township resident, who joined the department in 2001, was off-duty and had left the bar at 10745 48th Ave. just before the 1 a.m. incident, police said.
    He returned, grabbed the gun and departed, sources said.
    Police Chief Kevin Belk suspended the 40-year-old officer as soon as sheriff's detectives relayed Guerrero's alleged involvement.
    Guerrero will remain off the job, pending the outcome of the Ottawa investigation and a Grand Rapids Police Internal Affairs probe, said Belk, who declined further comment.
    It's unclear what, if any, criminal charge could stem from this incident.
    Sources said the woman was not with Guerrero and that she entered the men's room minutes after he did because the line for the ladies room was too long. She found the gun lying on a trash can and picked it up.
    The gun was not fired as part of an assault, but Ottawa sheriff's Lt. Mark Bennett said police aren't calling the shot an accident.
    The bullet went through a bathroom wall and into a beer cooler. No one was injured.
    Bennett would not disclose how or why the gun was fired, saying only the investigation remains open. He expected to forward a report Tuesday to the prosecutor's office.
    Deputies did not immediately locate Guerrero at his home, but the officer was cooperative when questioned, Bennett said. He would not say if Guerrero was given a breath test to determine possible intoxication.
    "He was no longer at the scene, but we did speak with him later," Bennett said. "There's others involved and we're trying to get to the bottom of exactly what happened."
    Guerrero could not be reached for comment.
    It is common for law enforcement officers to wear their duty weapon during off hours.
    Josh Lamson, the bar general manager, declined comment, as did Kenneth Hoogeboom, a lawyer who represents owner Bashar Karadsheh. Karadsheh could not be reached for comment.
    The 1,600-square-foot bar opened about a month ago, Lamson said. It gained township approval for a liquor license last year.
    Karadsheh said at the time he didn't want it to be known as a bar for college students, but the club pitches itself as "the first bar on South 48th Avenue adjacent to Grand Valley State University."
    Located inside a strip mall and next to off-campus student apartments, it also has nightly specials and a weekend DJ.
    Township Supervisor Jerry Alkema said the incident appears to be an isolated matter. The Township Board has an annual review at which it can recommend the license not be renewed if the bar proves to be a problem.
    "This appears to be a mistake that somebody made outside of what the property owner could have known or prevented," Alkema said.
    Alkema said there have not been complaints that would jeopardize the standing of the business.
    Guerrero's alleged involvement comes nearly a year after he was part of a traffic stop skirmish with a man, who climbed in a vehicle's driver's seat, took off with the officer inside the car and crashed the vehicle.
    Guerrero was unhurt in the rollover crash and the suspect, who was not the original driver, was ordered to serve 6 to 40 years in prison.
  2. Dalton Wayne

    Dalton Wayne Epic mustache Millennium Member

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    Apr 5, 1999
    Central Florida