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Incidences persist at downtown’s Afterset; Dozens involved in “brawl”

20 August 2011 Craig 23 Comments

Beer bottles on the Chicago lakefront Beer bottles on the Chicago lakefront (Photo by The Elginite).

From an article in today’s Courier News regarding an early morning fight on July 30th outside of the Afterset bar in downtown Elgin:

According to reports, two officers on downtown liquor detail saw a fight break out about 3:40 a.m….As four police officers worked to stop the fight, a crowd gathered, made up of people in the adjacent parking lots and patrons spilling out of the bar. Police called for backup units, as reports estimated that the crowd grew to between 150 and 200 people.

Several small fights also were breaking out in nearby parking lots at the same time, reports stated. Elgin police received backup from officers from the Kane County sheriff’s department, South Elgin, Bartlett, Carpentersville, West Dundee, East Dundee, Metra and Illinois State Police.

The Afterset has had a past of disturbances since its opening in 2004. Elgin’s liquor commission has allowed it to operate while shutting down at least one other establishment with ostensibly less incidences, Anthony’s, which was shut down by the city after only two years of operation under much disputed circumstances.

Why is this?

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23 Responses to “Incidences persist at downtown’s Afterset; Dozens involved in “brawl””

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  1. RS says:

    What a photo op! And I missed it. So sad. I need a police scanner.

  2. One Vote says:

    What a shame. Elgin is so proud of its bars.

  3. Todd Martin says:

    When 150-200 people gather at 3:40am to harass police officers trying to break up a fight, there is a bigger problem than just one bar that can’t control its parking lot. Since the bar is only rated to hold 85 people, about a hundred drunks must have been drawn in from Douglas Street Bar as well as some local residents.

    I say get rid of the 4am liquor license. Require parking lot security for bars past midnight. Require good lot lighting and HD security cameras.

    I say have a few officers WALK across the street from the police station and arrest loitering drunks. Chief Swoboda owes the city an apology for this one.

    This trouble is entirely preventable. Mobs don’t happen out of thin air. It may harm the profit margins of downtown bars, but people can and do die from the stupid things mobs do in that environment.

    • One Vote says:

      What are you talking about? EPD is already deploying four cops every night to do last-call patrol.
      Perhaps they need more bouncers.
      Or maybe a dram shop lawsuit or two.
      How about a good, old fashioned DUI fatality with LOTS of publicity.
      Downtown Elgin is an armpit of our own creation. Don’t blame the cops when they try to pick up the pieces.

      • raingirl says:

        Don’t know what pieces you are referring to; many of the pieces are created by the cops.While cops are disobeying the laws themselves it’s hard to expect them to prioritize what they do while on duty you should be more informed. Cops see what they want to see and take action when they want to take action against individuals of their choice Law has nothing to do with how the police handle the laws. The police should not have to nor be expected to baby sit any business establishment if that become evident the business should be shut down. We pay the police salaries and during these times there is too much crime in this city for the police to be standing 4 deep guarding an out of control business.

  4. Todd Martin says:

    One Vote, So you think it is ok for 100 drunks to hang out across the street from the police station at 3:40am waiting for a brawl? If the PD looked out their window, they could have seen that public intoxication arrests were needed. This is simple negligence.

    • One Vote says:

      You can’t believe that they have 20 armed and ready cops sitting in a room at 3 in the morning. Would you like to pay for staffing like that?
      If you read the article they had to call in officers from other towns to assist.
      The story also explains that the crowd gathered quickly.
      I agree with Terry. They’ve lost their chance now. Pull their license and be grateful the crowd was controlled without serious injury to the innocent.
      If you want to complain that the city has failed to act on several past warnings about the bar, I’ll join you.

  5. Terry Gavin says:

    Let’s see questionable ownernship, multiple priors & now this a violent flash mob, why would the city not revoke their liquor license?

    As someone who was part of the original council who crafted the ordinance granting 4:00am licenses, I can simply tell you that they were designed only for certain establishments (2) that were closely monitored & paid extra for Elgin Police to secure the premise’s. Since then it appears that anyone with a liquor license downtown can get one. A very bad move & it should be reviewed immediately.

    If action is not taken soon we can expect a bigger disaster to take place!

  6. Terry Gavin says:

    What I also find most distressing is the fact that it would appear,at least to me, that the “crowd” of thugs that showed up in this story were most likely contacted by social media(facebook,twitter) to come out & challenge the police, how else did they know where to go?. Just like the riots in Egypt, London & in many large cities in America these young people use their cellphones/computers to come out & cause violence.

    There is little that we can do as a society to stop this scourge if this is happening here!

    • paul says:

      “thugs that showed up in this story were most likely contacted by social media(facebook,twitter) ”

      I believe that is called ‘community organizing’!

  7. raingirl says:

    There is nothing new regarding how the City of Elgin has handled this club whether it’s called the Foxhole or Afterset. What most are missing is that the owners of the above are Not Black. Race matters in this town as evidenced by the long standing issues raised by a plethora of black residents in this town which are always swept under the rug. Until those in charge choose to run this city and judge the residents by the content of their character and not the color of their skin you can expect this and other acts of racial bias to continue. I am not surprised to learn that one person involved in the operations of the Foxhole and the Afterset is a felon with a long history of criminal activity in this town Remember “God’s Gym?. The elite city leaders and the culpable police department (next door neighbors to the club) consistently pride themselves on doing such a great job in managing the business of the city but many incidents never become public knowledge until someone forces them to speak and divulge activity that shines a light on the bias that they consistently use as leverage to harm black citizens or to hide from the citizens of this town. I know that these comments will be met with sarcasm but as a long time Elgin resident more than 45 years I have memories of how blacks are treated in this community. There is no excuse for what they did to the owner of the now defunct Jazz club except to further evidence that Elgin has a long standing history of racial bias and a thirst to harm black citizens as often as they can. They are not alone the entire Kane County is just as guilty of their racial bias as the city of Elgin leaders. They all work together to cast dark shadows, false information, and hateful mistreatment to blacks disproportionately to any other race as evidenced by the crimes committed and the charges lodged and the bails set for similar crimes yet blacks get the brunt of the disproportionate biased long arm of the law. Elgin will forever be a small town with backward ideas guided by biased thinking and the failure to respect and see all people in a fair and equitable light. As for the city’s liquor commission there is nothing to discuss except to do the right thing which is long over due for these operators. Clearly There has been enough substance to revoke the liquor license and to send someone to jail. The mere fact that a known felon is allowed to be involved in a business that is as troublesome as this one has and continue to be is just another example of how Elgin’s finest see what they want to see. Clearly the city leaders and the police choose to play the race card when shutting down the Jazz club who had no incidents that are even close to these infractions. Perhaps if we look close enough we might just see that some of those same leaders and offices have a special interest in allowing this corrupt group of owners to continue business as usual and are willing to risk their credibility rather than to shut this business down immediately and cancel all 4 a.m. liquor licenses in this city. Amnesia is unacceptable when it comes to telling the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth when it comes to enforcing the “cities ordinances” equally to every violator. As for our leaders some of them those involved in the jazz club closure should face some consequences that could possible bar them from holding public office. It’s time for Power and money to take a back seat to equal and fair justice, civility,honesty and above all to treat All people with respect based on their character NOT the COLOR of their SKIN. I am alarmed about the Taser results I wonder if the officers who did the tasing would want such a thing to happen to them?. We have had brawls for years long before tasers and police managed this is a heinous manner in which to treat any human and I am strongly against tasers. It is a sad commentary to say the least what if we had a real riot what would EPD do in that case seems as though they are woefully unprepared for an incident of this magnitude that takes place right under their nose. Maybe they are just a little to cozy with the establishment to exercise good judgment.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why is it always racist when black people or anyone none white for that matter get in trouble for something? Why can it not be that they are actually just wrong and bringing it on themselves?

  9. One Vote says:

    …and the city council member with the most tenure is black.
    …and we just elected a black woman to the council.
    …and Ina Mae watches over the proceedings with her knitting needles.
    …and the number of black employees of the city is higher than their census representation by far.
    Your only valid point was the Jazz Club.
    The city cracked down on The Main Event when necessary.
    I think Dexter Court executes equal opportunity buffoonery.

    • raingirl says:

      What does that prove; that the longest standing city council member is black and a recent member is black? It seems that when there is one black participating in any decision making that shuts the door on the diversity theory and when there are two.Blacks should be forever grateful. The jab made at Ina Dews is not cute nor necessary and your belief that the city cracked down on the Main Event when necessary is really based on your opinion and not on facts. I don’t know exactly what you mean regarding the equal opportunity buffoonery. What I do know is that Elgin city leaders et al has a long history of raced biased treatment when anyone from the black community is concerned.

  10. Terry Gavin says:

    Great points One Vote!

  11. raingirl says:

    One Vote you made me LOL with your smart comment that the number of black employees for the city is higher than the census count for blacks. If you keep talking you will reveal what you really stand for I can read between the lines and I want to let you know that your comment is incendiary to black people and a slap in the face of the city of Elgin. There should by law be equal opportunity for all not just the Hispanics and whites. Clearly you are referring to a stereotype mentality in a condescending manner but I get it. Blacks are here to stay make no mistake about it no matter how hard this city work to disenfranchise them they are not leaving. blacks are survivors just read your history. Those of you who continue to see every thing as racist rather than reality will someday either get it or it will get you.

  12. Friend21 says:

    My personal opinion is from now on the Elgin Police should just set up safety check points right outside the bars and teach the hooligans a lesson by handing out DUI’s. Start by setting one up in their own back yard and nailing all those losers at afterset. And I can tell you I have always been impressed with all the Elgin Police officers that I have dealt with. They are not racist in any way and are one of the most diverse Police Departments around. Now with that being said it does not matter what Police Department you are talking about you will always have 1 or 2 bad police officers it is just the law of averages.

  13. RS says:


    Again, no consistency at all between Afterset treatment and Anthony’s.

    • One Vote says:

      [snark on]C’mon RS. You’re talking apples and oranges here. Afterset and Anthony’s aren’t even in the same neighborhood. They are a whole city block apart!