Archive for Wednesday, February 13, 2008

2 arrests made in Last Call shooting

Topeka women charged with aiding shooter

February 13, 2008

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Two Last Call shooting suspects in custody

Lawrence police announced they have arrested two people in connection with the weekend shooting outside a downtown Lawrence nightclub. Enlarge video

Two Topeka women were arrested late Tuesday, accused of helping a gunman who fired multiple shots toward a crowd of people early Sunday outside Last Call.

The women were in the gunman's getaway car, according to Lawrence police Sgt. Paul Fellers. One woman, 30, was arrested on a charge of aiding a felon, and the other woman, 20, was arrested on a charge of aiding and abetting in an aggravated battery.

A 15-year-old Topeka boy and two Last Call employees were shot about 3 a.m. Sunday outside the club at 729 N.H.

The police department's investigation into the case continues, Fellers said.

"We've followed dozens and dozens of leads in the case so far," he said.

However, he declined to provide many details about the case, including whether police have identified the gunman or what led them to the two women.

''Obviously, we're making some progress," he said.

Meanwhile, the boy's grandmother says she's furious with her grandson for being at the private club. But Kay Foster is even more upset the bar let him in and then wouldn't help him when he was shot.

Foster, of Kansas City, Kan., said her 15-year-old grandson told his family he was going to visit his cousins. Then the group went to Last Call. Foster said the 15-year-old still had the Last Call stamp on his hand in the Kansas City hospital where he had surgery to remove a bullet from his ankle.

"He walked up to the building. He does not look like he's 18 at all," Foster said. "He did not have an ID. Period. But even if he did have one, there's no way he looks 18."

Foster acknowledges her grandson bears responsibility for putting himself in the position where he got shot. But Foster, herself a former club manager, believes the club could have prevented all of this from happening by turning the youth away at the door.

"He got a tongue-lashing and a half," Foster said. "I am furious with him."

Still, Foster said her grandson's age was no excuse for him not receiving aid at the scene of the shooting. Foster said her grandson walked back into Last Call after being shot, but was told there was nothing they could do and he needed to leave. So he and his cousins piled into a car and left for Lawrence Memorial Hospital, according to police.

Last Call owner Dennis Steffes did not return numerous messages seeking comment about Sunday's incident. City officials say they're interested in taking further steps in their continuing effort to close the club, which has operated on a bring-your-own alcohol basis since losing its liquor license late last year.

"That club should be shut down for allowing a child in there," Foster said. "This club needs to be shut down. He could have been killed. If that bullet had been higher, he would have died."

Meanwhile, Steffes' attorney, Daniel Owen, said he's tried to speak with city officials since Monday morning, but to no avail.

"For whatever reason, they've declined to call me back," Owen said. "We don't know what the city's position is at this time. At this time, Mr. Steffes would be happy to talk with them, but so far we've been unsuccessful in getting them to talk to us."

Comments

Motivation 7 years, 2 months ago

Funny....no one is available for comment. Mr. Steffes isn't returning calls, and now his attorney states the city won't return calls. Hmmmm...that's original. Maybe they can all point the finger at each other long enough for everyone to forget...doubt it.

WAKE UP LAWRENCE!! Most of the long-time residents have moved away because of this very thing. We are sick of the mess, the infrastructure in Lawrence is horrible. The government is more worried about protecting themselves than protecting anyone else.

Mr. Steffes does have some answering to do, but it's not like he has control over the outside arena. That's what the police are there for, and earlier articles state the pd have mentioned they are scared for their safety around the club. Well, you are there to protect and serve, right?

This is crazy, and the main reason why I left that forsaken town.

lunacydetector 7 years, 2 months ago

the two women are from topeka and the kid is from kansas city, kansas.

if the progressives were in power we'd be sending topeka an official letter of apology.

armyguy 7 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps Last Call should move here in Baghdad, since it sounds like the club would fit right in.

Michael Capra 7 years, 2 months ago

sounds like grandma is going to give a whole lot of whoop ass

Jeremy Lichtenauer 7 years, 2 months ago

How the LPD established a suspect and even made an arrest out of this chaos is beyond me. Excellent job!!! Now lets see what The Highlander's next move is.

Michael Capra 7 years, 2 months ago

now steffes wants to talk, he wants protection from the city for what grandma about to do to him.I say go get a big stick grandma and whip him good

Richard Heckler 7 years, 2 months ago

Remember the police cannot act until a crime has been committed.

Apparently Mr. Steffes convinced them no other criminal activity would ever again take place. The underage young man ought to promote some action considering the history of Last Call. The young man still had the Last Call stamp on his body which says he was allowed to enter. Are minors allowed in a BYOB? Are minors allowed in the Coyote Club?

I do believe city hall will meet a good deal of resistance from the business community regarding the the license procedure. Any new control mechanism is only as good as the enforcement of that mechanism.

I think the grandmother is correct in that Last Call should be shut down. Grandmother has taken responsibility on her end.

chet_larock 7 years, 2 months ago

"if the progressives were in power we'd be sending topeka an official letter of apology."

Never too early for stupid comments.

T_Time 7 years, 2 months ago

Where's child services? It seems there's a problem here worth looking into. Start enforcing the laws we have, therfore we don't have to create new laws. Sad he was shot, but maybe he should spend a night or two in juvie so he would think twice about clubbing at 15. If not, treat him like an adult.

bangaranggerg 7 years, 2 months ago

They could shut this place down real fast if the cover charge was that you would have to have read a book.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 7 years, 2 months ago

If the LPD was doing its job, this wouldn't have happened in the first place. This club should have been monitored non-stop and it wasn't. This is no different than when the mini-mart invasions took place. The cops knew where those people were coming from and where they were going to, and the stores that were in their path and yet they did nothing. Nothing. Too busy feeling up the coeds at a safe bar somewhere else.

fletch 7 years, 2 months ago

All of a sudden Steffes has a whole lot less to say...

Bladerunner 7 years, 2 months ago

Uhlrich Hetfield 3......you sir...are a dumbass.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 2 months ago

And if your 15 year old told you he was staying with cousins, you would go over there at 3:00am to make sure he was there? I doubt it. The woman is obviously raising her grandson, for whatever reason. It's not easy raising them when you're young, but it's harder when you are older. In the 60's, a so-called friend of mine told her parents she was spending the night with me, but ran off with her boyfriend instead. They didn't know and I didn't know until they called the next morning wondering when she would be home. I do hope she grounds him for a long time. He has proven he isn't to be trusted.

Cityboy 7 years, 2 months ago

Up until recently, I loved to take my family down to Mass St. have dinner and maybe get some ice cream. Now with the KC transient that stole the Highlander, took out some parked cars, and held a gun to his own head and the recent violence at Last Chance, I will no longer frequent Mass St. and will strongly urge any of my friends and family to keep their distance.

The bottom line is money! Don't spend it and they will have to do something. Doesn't Steffes own some other clubs? Boycott, money talks!

Also, if the residents of Lawrence are so feed up with Last Chance, why not take the approach that I see so many people doing who opposed to the "War." Protest! If you're pissed off, take back the feeling of security. Get enough people with signs in front of the Last Chance and you may scare off customers. At least you might get the city's attention. Where are the activist when you need them? Where are the people's backbones? Grow a set and step up citizens of Lawrence!

hockmano 7 years, 2 months ago

Why does everyone always assume that crime is never committed by those that actually live in Lawrence? Maybe in this case the suspects were from Topeka.But, if you have any sort of connections in Lawrence, you know that all sorts of crimes are committed by Lawrence citizens each and every day.Wake up people!And most of these you will not read about in the LJW or seen on Channel Six. It's not always the outsiders committing the crimes.

On a different note, whether or not the 15 year old was legally able to enter this bar is debatable.But I know of at least two other clubs that don't check id's!They need to make sure that these kids are over 18 or be slapped with a hefty fine!

fu7il3 7 years, 2 months ago

"This club should have been monitored non-stop and it wasn't."

So, you are saying that it's the police's fault for not being at the club constantly, leaving the rest of Lawrence unpatrolled, rather than the club's fault for having the problems in the first place.

"Why did you hit your sister?!"

"It's your fault, mom. You should have stopped me."

Seriously, what happened to people taking responsibility for their own actions. The kid should have been responsible for himself. These people causing problems should be responsible for themselves. Since they can't seem to do that, the club should be responsible for them. When you involve the police, you are saying that the people can't handle themselves, the club can't handle themselves, and therefore the government has to step in and take control.

If the government has to take control, then the bar should be closed. I'd rather the police were able to patrol and protect my family and property rather than my tax dollars going to clean up messes brought in from Topeka and Kansas City.

Cityboy 7 years, 2 months ago

Would a "grass roots" petition to shut down Last Chance have any legal stance?

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 2 months ago

Good job LPD.

I smell a lawsuit cooking on grandma's stove.

Isn't it ironic that what may shut Steffes down might be one of his own customers? I think his focus just shifted from the city as the #1 problem. He just bought himself a whole mess o' grandma.

And previously Steffes and his attorney could not be reached for comment? Now they are desperately trying to contact the city? The irony is ripe in the air.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 2 months ago

And for that matter, Lawrence, City of, had better be careful that they really did everything in their power to shut LC down.

If they've been remiss, the deep pockets just got really deep and we'll all pay for it.

coolmarv 7 years, 2 months ago

Grandma Foster starring in: "Walking Tall: Part 4, Bring'in Down the LC"

"Big Stick"

Where's sherrif Pusser when you need him?

CoAd 7 years, 2 months ago

Let's remember that scumbag has kids that can read and probably will. We have all the right to be upset about the way he conducts his business but not to question his parenting.

I understand the patrons of his establishment are around the same age. But there are better points to make than to say something that could hurt his children.

I recall when I was younger my dad worked on a car that continued to have problems. My dad upheld his warrantly and would fix what he had previously repaired. When the person started to ask for free repairs outside of the previous work done my dad said no and the customer got mad. I remember him calling my dad a scumbag and my dad told me to go play inside. As I was going inside I heard him say that he hopes that my dad isn't raising six little scumbags that will go up to be like him.

It bothers me to recall and not just because scum bag was used. Probably brought feelings back...

I am not a fan of the guy. I am with the people that can express serious concern, contemplate a possible resolution, and not make attacks. The instances at Last Call really speak for themselves. I am not with the people that name call, wish bad things on people, say things without consideration (human decency) for all sides.

justthefacts 7 years, 2 months ago

"Would a "grass roots" petition to shut down Last Chance have any legal stance?"

NOT USUALLY.

Kansas is not a "referendum" state. Some states allow a citizen petition on any/most/specific topics to have legal impact. In Kansas, the only petitions that have power to make officials do specific things (like take a vote) are when/if a statute specifically requires that result or process.

In order to force a specific outcome, by citizen petition, the petition must be based upon statutory authority. So look for a statute (www.kslegislature.org) that says a city commission must close a business if enough citizens request/demand it by petition. Good luck. I couldn't find one.

otto 7 years, 2 months ago

Those of you that said grandma is raising this kid etc... Did any of you read this article? It says the kid is from Topeka. Grandma from KC. A whole lot of useless posts with poor information, Just like this useless post pointing out all the other useless garbage that has been discussed here.

otto 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm curiuos why anyone thinks they might be?

Baille 7 years, 2 months ago

"Are minors allowed in a BYOB?"

I don't know why they wouldn't be. Anyone know of a statute or regulation that would prohibit a minor from going into a club that does not serve alcohol?

"Sad he was shot, but maybe he should spend a night or two in juvie so he would think twice about clubbing at 15."

What did he do that was illegal? So now the U.S. is going to put children in jail for going to a club that does not serve alcohol?

"I smell a lawsuit cooking on grandma's stove."

Who would she sue? The shooters? And get what? Their rims and futon? She can recover money through the crime victims fund at the AG's office. Sue Steffes? For not stopping a drive-by shooting that took place on a public street or maybe letting a kid do something that is not illegal (unless someone can show different)?

otto 7 years, 2 months ago

ARTICLE 8. CURFEW 14-801 CHILDREN. It shall be unlawful for any child under the age of eighteen (18) years to wander, lounge, loaf, loiter or play in, about, or upon any public street, alley, sidewalk, vacant lot, public place or other place normally accessible to the general public for public use, whether on foot, or in a vehicle or by any means, during the hours of curfew which are hereby specified for each day of each week as provided, to wit: 11:00 p.m. Monday to 6:00 a.m. Tuesday; 11:00 p.m. Tuesday to 6:00 a.m. Wednesday; 11:00 p.m. Wednesday to 6:00 a.m. Thursday; 11:00 p.m. Thursday to 6:00 a.m. Friday; 12:30 a.m. Saturday to 6:00 a.m. Saturday; 12:30 a.m. Sunday to 6:00 a.m. Sunday; 11:00 p.m. Sunday to 6:00 a.m. Monday; unless accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or other person exercising legal custody of such child. Such prohibition shall not apply to such children under the age of eighteen (18) years who are en route by the most direct and accessible route between their homes and authorized places of employment, authorized entertainment, or authorized place of attendance to their residences. The term "authorized" as used in this Section shall denote and require prior authorization by a CODE OF THE CITY OF LAWRENCE, KANSAS 14-26 parent, legal guardian, or other person exercising legal custody. (Code 1979, 14-801)

otto 7 years, 2 months ago

No sisappointment Smitty - I just thought there was something I was missing, thanks.

Baille 7 years, 2 months ago

So we should imprison a kid for breaking curfew? Damn. That seems a might extreme.

Newell_Post 7 years, 2 months ago

Don't get mad grandma, get even. Sue their ass. Sue 'em all. Sue 'em personally. Big bucks. Millions and millions. Guys like this are in this kind of game purely for the money. Petitions, protests, and politicians are worthless. Hit 'em in the pocketbook and hit 'em hard.

2muchthyme 7 years, 2 months ago

the LPD were all congregated at Kennedy School this morning, giving out seatbelt tickets. as many people as they pulled over, they were lucky there was not a drive by shooting there, given the neighborhood and all......crosstown has had more shootings than last call

OnlyTheOne 7 years, 2 months ago

"unless accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or other person exercising legal custody of such child. " and that's why his presence in the club wasn't illegal. It was the responsibility of whomever brought him to the club to ensure he didn't drink. The club doesn't serve drinks, it's a "private" club you bring your drink they provide the setups (for a fee of course).

pagan_idolator 7 years, 2 months ago

Anonymous user

2muchthyme (Anonymous) says:

the LPD were all congregated at Kennedy School this morning, giving out seatbelt tickets. as many people as they pulled over, they were lucky there was not a drive by shooting there, given the neighborhood and all::crosstown has had more shootings than last call

Never heard of shootings at Crosstown. Were did you get this information?

2muchthyme 7 years, 2 months ago

in response to pagan_idolator:

There have been shootings, knifings, fights and the such ever since the place opened as a bar. Before it was Crosstown, it was the laughing Dog. The LPD files are full of reports and incidents from that locale, and Milspec too, but they don't really count, do they? If you ever drive by there and see one or more windows boarded up, there has been another problem. Plus, at least 3 of the other businesses in that strip mall have had their windows shot out when there has been a drive-by, and it has happened more than once.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 2 months ago

Granny should sue. That would motivate Steffes.

Cityboy 7 years, 2 months ago

kubacker ...

I understand your comment. I really don't consider it a Black or Hispanic thing, only a safety issue for community. I would have the same opinion if it was a country bar. In my opinion, there is more focus on Last Chance due to the location and the connection to what I once considered a great atmosphere (Mass St.). It's sad a community can't fight back. Activists have no issue with picketing pornographic shops, the war, etc : but they won't step up when the community really needs help.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 2 months ago

"There won't be any "activists" picketting LC - its not PC in this stinking town to take any negative position on any aspect of black or hispanic "culture" no matter how absolutely wrong it is."

Wanna bet? Anyone interested in picketing the Last Call Friday night, meet me at Aimee's coffee (across from the Granada) at 5:00pm Friday. I'll be the short chubby grey-haired lady. We'll discuss strategies. Bring signs if you want, but definitely bring cameras. Those will make the patrons more nervous than signs.

I've sent emails to several city officials about getting a permit to assemble, but no one has answered, so let's just do it without any permit.

honestone 7 years, 2 months ago

Granny...you messed up There is only one person that is responsible for your boy's injury and that is you. Please don't waste the courts time. To those that are afraid to go to downtown Lawrence because of the "bad element" there are creating thier own problem. It is kinda like urban flight. If you leave...you leave the area for the bad guys. Please stay over in west lawrence. I agree that the patrons at Last Call have been an issue but shutting the place down isn't the answer...it will only move the problem. Wow...what an idea! Maybe Steffe will open a club in West Lawrence.

StrangerCreek 7 years, 2 months ago

Last Call just had it's last call. And Mr. Steffes legal expenses are just starting. It could do him in. The DA will be coming after him and so will the 15 yr old's family. Even if they have a weak case against the LC some legal beagle is going to help them pro bono to find out and Mr. Steffes will have to foot the bill to defend himself. Same with the DA case. Great thing about this country. You get your day in court. And even if you win, you loose. Financially.

I have this vision of Mr. Steffes wallet and money is just flying out into the wind. Gone. After he drops $20k+ on legal bills maybe, just maybe he'll get the picture.

What goes around, comes around. And Mr. Steffes, there's a train a coming.

akt2 7 years, 2 months ago

So were they trying to cover their ass when the 15 yr old walked back into the establishment asking for help after being shot, and they told him they couldn't help him? That is about as low as you can get.

Jim Phillips 7 years, 2 months ago

Smitty, Why are you so down on Bordman? Did you hit on him and he turned you down?

Truth of the matter is Smitty (Cynthia), the more you write, the less credible you are!

Keep up the good work!

mymountain 7 years, 2 months ago

if Grandma sues, she would get nothing. why bother?

Motivation 7 years, 2 months ago

What I don't understand is that everyone is saying the 15 year old child is "trouble"?? From what I read, the child was in the car with his cousins, then found out they were going to the club. I don't remember reading anywhere that he had anything to do with the shooting...did I forget a fact?

True, the child should not have been allowed in the club. However, I don't think he had anything to do with what happened and all of a sudden everyone is blaming him.

The police cannot act until a crime is being committed. However, they have no problems restoring the peace during mobs or riots, right? So, they couldn't have been more prepared in order to catch the shooter directly after the fires of the gun were heard? I don't buy it. And I'm still not happy with Lawrence's infrastructure.

whichoneisit 7 years, 2 months ago

Everybody thinks that by shutting down the Last Call, it's gonna stop people from doin a drive by at a club....Well, hello people....it's not. Topeka and Kansas City are both close to Lawrence, and Topeka and Kansas City both don't happen to have many, if any, clubs for ages 18+ so therefore, they all come to Lawrence! If the Last Call gets shut down, everyone will just go to another club here in Lawrence. However, I'm not at all saying that the Last Call shouldn't get shut down, because it should by all means. But let's face reality for a second? Axis is full of highschool kids on the weekends, they just don't get shot up! Think about it.......

medic3322002 7 years, 2 months ago

I have been in Lawrence for a little over a year now, and last call has been a place i was told to steer-clear of, and i understand why now. i think that a bar that has to use metal detectors should not even be open, it is a joke. and i just love how when last call is closing, they block street in front of it off, what is it, are the cops here are they just wimps, i really am believing that at this point. all i have to say is everyone that is involved why dont you go to some of the areas in southern Illinois and see how far you get, the bars would be shut down, and the crimnals would be behind bars. they do not tolerate the crime, the police department needs to stand up and do the job they are sworn to do, hell i should be chief of police, things would get done, and we would also have the the new officers go to state training to learn and enforce the law the way it is to be

BlackVelvet 7 years, 2 months ago

Guardian,

Smitty is a windbag who hates LPD and Ron Olin, and that will never change. Smitty will forever spew venom, whether there are facts to back up her drivel or not. That will never change. Smitty is best ignored. For she knows not of what she speaks. (she thinks she does, but alas, she does not)

BlackVelvet 7 years, 2 months ago

Medic3322002 wrote: "the police department needs to stand up and do the job they are sworn to do," You need to understand that the liberals in this town would go ballistic if the cops were to "stand up and do the job" with Last Call, or any other venue, they would call it harassment! They think the cops should be invisible and not bother anyone, yet when anything happens, they are the FIRST to complain "where where the cops?"

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