Source: Screencap/NBC News/KSDK-TV

Watch: Police Car Slams into St. Louis Gay Bar, but Proprietor Ends Up in Handcuffs

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 5 MIN.

A police car smashed through the front of a St. Louis gay bar in the early hours of Dec. 18, but it was the establishment's co-owner who was clapped in cuffs and hauled to the station, NBC News reported.

"Chad Morris and James Pence, who co-own Bar:PM and live above it, said they came downstairs after they heard the crash at around 12:30 a.m. Monday morning," reported a local TV news channel, KSDK-TV, which is an NBC affiliate.

Pence described the situation, telling the news station, "I was actually already in bed" when he "heard a loud boom."

Pence went on to say that he "jumped up thinking it was an accident with a vehicle, and then I seen it, and it was a St. Louis city police department vehicle in the front of our building."

At the wheel of the time of the crash was "a 32-year-old probationary officer on the force less than a year," local news outlet the St. Louis Dispatch reported.

UK newspaper The Independent reported that, according to a police report, Morris "was arrested by police after he allegedly began to 'scream obscenities' after the collision and 'struck' an officer hard in the chest with his hand, causing the officer to lose his balance..."

But that story does not line up with video of the incident, according to Morris' lawyer, Javad Khazaeili, who says "that the whole video apparently does not show Mr Morris striking an officer," the Independent relayed.

The same police report also claims that Morris tried to flee the scene, and that he "clos[ed] a gate on an officer" while running away, the Independent detailed.

Pence gave a different version of events, saying that "it was the police who came into the bar aggressively despite crashing their car into the building moments before," the Independent reported.

Furthermore, Pence "claimed that Mr Morris was filming the crash scene when three officers 'went for him.'"

Said Pence: "He raised his arm, and they said he hit them."

Pence, too, was placed in handcuffs by the officers, though he was later released without being taken into custody.

Stories about how the crash happened also varied. KSDK-TV cited a police report that claimed, "An officer was driving too close to a parked car Monday morning and then overcorrected and lost control of the vehicle, crashing into Bar."

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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