Sheriff's Deputies Step Up Patrols in Response to Bar Violence

By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jennifer Rizzi Email

CROSS LANES, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies say if you come to Cross Lanes, you can expect to see them a lot more.

They say bars have turned the area into a trouble spot, and now they're stepping up patrols.

"We're having shootings and stabbings, and it's not uncommon now," Deputy Stephanie Adams said. "You show up on the scene, and there's 40 or 50 people physically fighting."

That was the case last week at Appetizer's Restaurant and Lounge. A massive brawl ended in gunfire that sent one man to the hospital and damaged nearby businesses.

"We're going to continue patrolling the Cross Lanes area very heavily and greeting patrons until they get the message that they need to abide by the law," Capt. Sean Crosier said.

Deputies say a change in patronage could be behind the spike in violence, claiming to see more bar guests from out of town and out of state.

"It could be that some of the bars in downtown Charleston have closed for violent reasons and the crowd is just moving outward to find somewhere else to go," Adams said.

Deputies say they average more than three calls a month involving violent fights at the bars. They say the responses often require help from other agencies like Nitro Police, pulling more officers off of the streets.

"We're not sure where these clientele have come from," Crosier said. "They might think that Kanawha County is the Old West ... but we're not going to let it get to that level."


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