Excise Officers Cite 5 Bars, Arrest 4 People

ELKHART, Ind. – Indiana State Excise Police officers cited five bars, arrested four people and seized one handgun in Elkhart County last night.

Excise officers arrested three minors for illegal consumption of alcohol and being in a tavern.

Devin L. Wilson, 23, of Goshen, Ind., was arrested at Gemini Bar and Grill, 23845 US Hwy 33, Elkhart, on a preliminary charge of possession of a handgun without a permit. He was taken to the Elkhart County Jail.

Excise officers also cited five locations on a total of nine preliminary charges, all of which will be reviewed by the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission’s administrative law prosecutor for formal charges.

Gemini Bar and Grill was preliminarily charged with being a public nuisance.

El Serape, 23821 US Hwy 33, Elkhart, was preliminarily charged with unlawfully purchasing alcohol from another retail business and violating an approved floor plan. El Serape was also issued a warning for failing to have employee permits and failing to maintain records of employee permits.

Big Easy, 160 Shopping Place, Elkhart, was preliminarily charged with two counts of allowing a minor to loiter and one count of violating Indiana’s Smoke-Free Air Law for possessing smoking paraphernalia.

Bolts, 1517 Bristol Street, Elkhart, was preliminarily charged with allowing a minor to loiter.

Red Bar & Grill, 2700 Hammond Street, Elkhart, was preliminarily charged with violating Indiana’s Smoke-Free Air Law for allowing prohibited smoking and possessing smoking paraphernalia.

“The regulatory responsibilities assigned to the State Excise Police are essential to public safety,” Superintendent Matt Strittmatter said. “Excise officers will continue to ensure that permit locations comply with the alcoholic beverage laws through diligent enforcement of the statutes specific to prohibiting service to underage persons.”

Excise police officers were assisted by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office.

As the enforcement division of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, the primary mission of the Indiana State Excise Police is to promote public safety by enforcing Indiana’s Alcoholic Beverage Code. While excise officers have the authority to enforce any state law, they focus primarily on alcohol, tobacco and related laws.

All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.