Fight At Beeson Bar Turns Deadly After Spilling Onto Sidewalk
A Dowagiac man was arraigned Monday on charges of first-degree murder, assault with attempt to murder, and six weapons charges after allegedly killing a man following an argument inside of Beeson Bar in Dowagiac. 42-year-old Fabian James Wesaw was fatally hit by a bullet in the incident. 24-year-old Rolandis Russell was allegedly involved in an incident inside of the bar and went to his car to retrieve an AK47-style firearm. Police say he fired between 12 and 15 shots into a crowd of 5 to 10 people who had left the bar and spilled onto the sidewalk. Only Wesaw was hit by a bullet.
Police were already en route to the scene after calls reporting a large fight when they heard gunshots.
Russell was arrested near the murder scene a short time later.
Are Bar Owners Liable For Violence In Michigan?
Crime victim attorney and contributor Brian Kent has some thoughts on bar owner liability when violence occurs:
In some cases, bar owners may bear partial responsibility for the violence that occurs in their bar. At bars with a history of violent incidents, bar owners are legally obligated to make some effort to improve safety for their patrons. Accidents that can be traced to negligent security could result in liability for the bar owner.
Additionally, bars can be held liable if the staff continues to serve a visibly intoxicated patron who goes on to injure someone else, either through physical violence or a drunk driving accident. This is a concept known as dram shop law.
Bar owner liability is a complex legal issue that is greatly dependent on circumstances. In order to determine if a third party (such as a business owner) bears any responsibility for failing to prevent a violent crime, it’s usually necessary to have all details of the case reviewed by an experienced crime victim attorney.