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Police make another raid on The Library

Claire Heininger | Friday, April 16, 2004

Indiana State Excise Police cited 17 underage patrons and took three into custody in a raid of The Library Irish Pub early Friday morning.Lt. Greg Deitchley, spokesman for the District 1 excise office, said officers entered the bar at approximately 12:50 a.m. after receiving an alert from an undercover policeman inside. Deitchley confirmed that The Library was only one of several bars that had been targeted for a bust Friday. He said that excise heard reports from several other locations before deciding to raid The Library.Police closed doors and asked patrons to present identification upon exit, issuing minor in a tavern citations to each of the 17 who were found to be underage. Some of the patrons were also ticketed for false identification, Deitchley said.Three patrons were also taken to St. Joseph County Jail on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and public intoxication. One of the three, a 20-year old Notre Dame student, attempted to elude officers by hiding under the bar’s refrigerator, said Lt. Marc Mersich of the South Bend Police. Another student of legal age verbally threatened officers and tried to force his way out. South Bend officers were alerted by excise police and arrived at the scene as backup. The bust came nearly a year to the date after another raid of the bar, as 51 patrons were cited at The Library on April 25.Pub owner Chuck Hammons said the bar responded to the first raid by installing over $4,000 worth of camera equipment to prevent underage patrons from entering.He claimed officers pushed several people inside as they sealed off the entrance and said bouncers were unable to check identification for those patrons.Deitchley said excise officials would note Hammons’ concerns but added that his officers denied forcing anyone past the cameras.”I asked my people and they said no,” Deitchley said.Hammons also contested the choice to raid The Library over other larger downtown bars such as Heartland and the State Theatre.”[Police] have a job to do and I respect that, but I think somewhere along the line I’m being unfairly targeted,” he said.Deitchley was unable to confirm how many of the 17 cited were Notre Dame or Saint Mary’s students, but said campus phonebooks were used by officers to identify those who received the minor in a tavern charge. Police also cited 147 underage patrons at the establishment in October 2000, when it was named Finnegan’s Irish Pub. Legal action forced owners to sell and rename the bar.