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bar assaults

Out-of-town bar brawlers targeted by police Whistler RCMP say they will continue to focus enforcement efforts on the increasingly violent incidents reported at local nightclubs after a summer full of bar fights. In the most recent incident, officers were called to the back door of the Maxx Fish nightclub at 1 a.m. on Aug. 15 to break up a brawl between patrons. Cpl. Mike Shannon said six intoxicated suspects, aged 20 to 35, were arrested at the scene. Charges ranged from assault on a police officer and common assault, to being drunk in a public place. Shannon said none of the suspects was a Whistler resident, and suggested that many of those involved in this and other recent fights seem to come to the community specifically looking for bar brawling opportunities. As a result, Shannon said the police will begin a more concerted crack-down on violence in the village, both in bars and at closing time. Fines and charges will be laid for those causing disturbances, violence or involved in an assault. Police will also be turning their attention to the owners and operators of liquor establishments themselves, with attention to the problems of over-crowding, over-serving and door control. "Most managers have been very co-operative, but some are letting in too many minors," Shannon said. "They've all been warned, and now we're taking them to task to help curb the problem." Shannon said the issue of fighting in or near village bars has also taken on an uglier tone after a flurry of apparently racially-motivated incidents. Police say they will typically receive a complaint about a group of men involved in a fight in one club, and can usually catch up to them by the time they've gone on to cause problems at another location.