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Archive for Monday, August 9, 2004

3 patrons hit by pickup after bar fight

August 9, 2004

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— A Wichita bar patron was jailed on suspicion of ramming several people with his pickup truck, killing one person and injuring two others, after a bar fight moved outside.

Lt. John Speer, of the Wichita Police Department, said an argument broke out early Sunday at Champs Bar and Grill in south Wichita, and staff at the club made several patrons leave the bar.

Once outside, Speer said the argument turned physical and several people began throwing punches.

In the midst of the melee, Speer said a 24-year-old man got into his pickup truck. As he drove through the parking lot, he struck a 21-year-old woman and ran over a 22-year-old man and a 35-year-old man.

Speer said the suspect then drove around the building, striking three vehicles before fleeing.

When police arrived after receiving a call around 1 a.m., Speer said the 35-year-old was lying in the drive of the business. He was taken to Via Christi Regional Medical Center's St. Francis campus, where he died around 5 a.m.

Police did not immediately release his name, pending notification of relatives.

The other victims were treated and released, Speer said.

Police took the truck's driver into custody early Sunday at his home in southern Sedgwick County and booked him on suspicion of one count of reckless second-degree murder and two counts of attempted reckless second-degree murder.

His name was not immediately released because he had not been formally charged, Speer said.

Speer said the investigation was ongoing. Officers were looking into whether alcohol played a role and whether the truck's driver had fought with the people who later were hit.

A message left at the bar was not immediately returned.

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