Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Bar fight ends with injuries, arrests

Violence mars Relays after-party downtown

April 24, 2006


A melee early Sunday at a downtown Lawrence nightclub left several Kansas Relays after-party revelers in the hospital or jail.

Around 1 a.m. Sunday, Lawrence Police, Douglas County Sheriff's Officers, Kansas University Police and Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical officials rushed to Abe & Jake's Landing, Sixth and New Hampshire streets, because of a bar brawl that quickly spread out of control on the club's dance floor.

Lawrence Police Sgt. Mark Warren said at the time that at least six people had been arrested because of the fight, and ambulances transported at least four victims to Lawrence Memorial Hospital with various injuries.

According to Douglas County Jail logs, Travis Bowman, 20, was booked into jail there just after 4 a.m. Sunday on disorderly conduct charges.

A Kansas City Kansas Community College sprinter named Travis Bowman participated in the Kansas Relays this year, placing seventh in the men's 400 meter dash preliminary round.

Police could not confirm whether Bowman was arrested in connection with the brawl at the club, and other details about the incident weren't available Sunday.

Mike Elwell, owner of Abe & Jake's, said a Kansas Relays group booked the club for the night to throw a party after the Relays ended Saturday.

Elwell had heard about the incident but hadn't spoken with his management staff to learn exactly what happened.

This is the fourth year the group has booked the club for the Relays after-party, Elwell said, and the night has been peaceful in the past.

"Up to this point, we've never had any issues," he said.

Kansas Relays meet director Tim Weaver said he was aware the after-party exists, but had not heard about the fight Sunday.

"It's nothing that's affiliated with us," Weaver said.


quigley 12 years, 2 months ago

What a surprise that there is some fight that gets out of control at Abe and Jakes. What is this like the 3rd or 4th time police have made arrests for fights/weapons there in the last 6 months? I personally have seen trouble there both times I went. I would recomend not going unless the owner makes some major changes.

lunacydetector 12 years, 2 months ago

let's see this guy is from kansas city. and just last week a guy from topeka was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. both happened at abe & jakes. why is lawrence running advertising welcoming topekans again? does this recent incident mean we will be advertising in kansas city? you know the- "we love you, please come to our downtown and shop (even though deep down we know you're a bunch of troublemakers)" ads run in the topeka paper. taxpayer dollars well spent.

Sigmund 12 years, 2 months ago

Six people arrested, yet only one person is mentioned in the article. Strange.

mssking1 12 years, 2 months ago

I thught you weren't letting topeka residents in your bar anymore Mike.......what happened---loose too much money?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 2 months ago

I was unaware that Topekans were fans of track and field events.

rsinger 12 years, 2 months ago

Maybe it's not where the people are from but the lack of control you have over your bar. Lawrence isn't the Blind Melon Hippieville Video it used to be. Maybe more security is needed instead of pointing fingers at other cities.

quigley 12 years, 2 months ago

That is excactly right. The times I was in there, there was a fight both times. It was the fact that there seems to be no bouncers or anyone around watching people. I have also heard of times where the police had to come in and break up fights themselfs. Abe and Jakes can and will hold hundreds and hundreds of people at a time, where are the employees? More security is the issue.

monkeywrench1969 12 years, 2 months ago

I have to say some of the bouncers at these clubs think their simply being their looking large and big is going to keep people under control.

I witnessed this first hand at the Anthrax show at the Granada in January. Tcrowd was very under control until the music started and the pit started to churn in the center in front of the stage. The security was puffed up and arms crossed glaring at at all until the first series of moshers hit the top of the crowd writhing and flipping themselves above the crowd toward the stage. The first guy came crashing down on half onthe stage half ont he security guy. He was totally shocked. It went on the rest of the night. Eventually the security guys got a groove going and were able to spot the crowd surfer and they would all catch him and shoot him out to the side of the stage. each time more forcefully than the next and the guys kept going back for more like a kid on a water slide.

The security at the end of hte night were drenched in sweat and worn out. It was great.

brotherskeeper 12 years, 2 months ago

Ok... you bring these top track and field athletes in and sponsor a drinking party? WHAT? - this is what is wrong with things...even the people at the top don't have enough sense. This type of thing would never have been allowed 30 years ago. I know... hell lets get them all drunk after they spend all day being competitive, that should go well. The blame goes to the morons that set this up.

Sigmund 12 years, 2 months ago

I've heard that the reason only one person of the six arrested were named in this article was that the LJW intended to make this into one of their famous six part award winning series.

drd343 12 years, 2 months ago

I used to work at Abe & Jakes and we were actual bouncers. The new manager thinks he is tough and hires weaklings to watch the floor so he feels macho. I mean really, how are you going to let some track and field guys get out of control?? Tackle them, arm bar them, and drag them out by their head! Another thing they need to do is cut off the jackasses that are too drunk. They never cut anyone off there any more. Sales should not trump safety. It is all too bad that Granada and Abe & Jakes can't learn a lesson considering the great buildings that the clubs reside in.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 2 months ago

R. Singer:

I will quit blaming other cities when I quit reading story after story in the paper about Topekans stealing/shooting/being shot in Lawrence. If you are a Topekan and don't like my comments, too bad. This is a truthful statement: Topekans commit a lot of crimes in Lawrence.

What happened over the weekend may not be relevant to the "Topeka-exports-criminals" issue.

I think the city should shut down any business of any sort that cannot demonstrate control over it's patrons. If a "club" has a lot of shootings or fights, shut them down. If a nightclub was a "fire hazard", the authorities would shut them down. If a club is a "shooting hazard", do the same!

Madd_Mike 12 years, 2 months ago

The problem with Abe & Jakes is overcrowding, unerage driniking,(if the ABC came in on any given weekend night they would hit the jackpot)poor crowd control.FIghts happen at any establishment,it's up to the secruity or lack of to handle the situation.Abe and Jakes needs to stop blaming outside sources for there problems and look within. Forget Abe and Jakes, I'm going to a frat bar where I can start a fight and not be discriminated against, or just join the one in progress.

Diana Lee 12 years, 2 months ago

If you're going to name the people arrested, name them all. Or is this Travis Bowman of KCK famous all of the sudden? Nice.

Newport 12 years, 2 months ago

LMAO @ Sigmund!!!! I could not agree more!

MrFlamboyant 12 years, 2 months ago

Thats messed up!! All he got charged with is disorderly conduct and he made the paper. Umm, Umm,Umm.

Eva Reed 12 years, 2 months ago

As someone who was ACTUALLY there, (not just reading this story or the Kansan) the fight involved SEVERAL KU FOOTBALL players. Anyone who was there and is a KU student will verify. All this talk of people from Topeka and Kansas City starting the fight is exactly the spin that KU athletics and Lew Perkins want (considering John Randle JUST embarassed for them for the 90th billion time) because they don't want to admit that they've spoiled their athletes and have babied their egos to the point that these athletes think that they are OWED something from everyone. Yes, there WERE people from out of town involved, but I think the fact that our "2005 Fort Worth Bowl Champions" had a role in all this is a lot more newsworthy than Travis Bowman (WHO?!) from Kansas City. Abe and Jakes is known for being one of the few bars that KU atheletes are allowed in (which draws the outsiders) and this just makes all parties involved look bad.

dream 12 years, 2 months ago

Underage patrons allowed to drink, weekly fights and diluted alcohol or cheap alcohol poured in the good bottles. Yep, definately a great bar to have fun! NOT!

bthom37 12 years, 2 months ago

The track and field party was in Abe & Jake's pub. Outside the pub was still Hip Hop night. Last weekend, with the gun being flashed around? Hip Hop night.

It's time for the owner to start either switching to a different format for Saturdays or bringing in real security. The security at A&J is not very good currently.

Mike Blur 12 years, 2 months ago

Thanks KUgirl85, you've posted what I suspected. Normally the LJW is quick to point the finger at out-of-towners, to give the impression that incidents like these are not a "Lawrence problem." I was wondering, this morning, why the LJW article was not as informative as it should have been. Now I know.

Once again, thanks! The real story will get out soon!

cork 12 years, 2 months ago

What does hip hop have to do with it? Just a suggestion: Maybe "the man" puts that spin on the story to keep you all thinking that hip hop is evil... It's not! I'm a perfectly happy, non-violent, successful person and I listen to hip hop almost exclusively. Hip hop is not the culprit. Also, don't you all think that there are probably an equal number of fights at other bars that don't play hip hop and they just don't make the news? Fights between white people and non-athletes are not nearly as exciting to read about. And one more thing- are some of you really suggesting that if we kept people from surrounding cities out that there would be less violence? Obviously none of you have ever been to the Cross Town Tavern! That is the most local bar you will find- and the scariest!

midwestmusicman 12 years, 2 months ago

The real question is why hasn't the Lawrence Fire Mashall droped by to check on capasity for A&J's...... I heard there was 1300 people there on Saturday night..... GOOD JOB A&J's Managers!!!!!!!! Way to look after your customers.....Regardless of how small the boncers are, they shouldn't be asked to control a crowd that size.... With A&J's its all about how much money can be made.... Tim Weaver should have been paying attention to what kind of party that the KU REALAYS was putting on..... It was a HIP HOP PARTY with DJ Scottie Mac!!!!!!! It was advertised as the OFFICAL AFTER PARTY!!!!! Good job TIM..... Its too bad that an event like the KU Realays had to be tarnished like this......

wishiwasabob 12 years, 2 months ago

Quigley made me laugh! Just wondering if it is a coincidence that at this late hour the featured "Top Ad" on this page is one for a new Office manager at Abe and Jakes?? ;)

wonderhorse 12 years, 2 months ago

Hate to bring up the "good old days", but 30 years ago, if you misbehaved in a dance club here in town, you got your a@@ beat by the bouncers, then you got arrested for, at the very least, disorderly conduct. That included KU athletes or anybody else. Amazingly enough, there weren't that many fights (I managed a club). Once again, sorry to bring up the old days. I know that they are no longer relevant, I just like to write.

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