Officer sues bar, patron over alleged attack

News-DemocratMay 22, 2013 

— An Edwardsville police officer is suing a local tavern and the patron who he says attacked him in the parking lot.

Officer Andrew Feller has filed suit against the owners of Big Daddy's tavern, doing business as BubbaSliceBone, and their landlord, Arthur Risavy. Owners Steven Siebert, Timothy Bauer and James Sinovic Jr. are named separately, as well as the patron, Traig Henson, 23, of Edwardsville.

According to court documents, Feller responded to a call on April 29, 2012, to subdue Henson, who then allegedly attacked him and responding paramedics.

The suit alleges that the bar kept serving Henson even after knowing he was intoxicated.

According to the documents, Feller suffered partial loss of work time and incurred medical bills. His wife, Kimberly Feller, is a co-plaintiff in the suit. The Fellers are seeking at least $50,000 on each of several counts, plus court costs.

Henson has been charged with resisting a peace officer, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of less than 2.5 grams of cannibis and battery against paramedic Todd Holder, all misdemeanors. The cases are all still pending in Madison County courts.

Edwardsville Police Chief Jay Keeven confirmed that Feller is currently working for the department, and in fact will receive an award Thursday for his work with the crisis intervention team in mental health cases.

Keeven could not say whether Big Daddy's had a higher rate of brawling than other downtown Edwardsville taverns. There have been 15 calls to the tavern since the beginning of 2013, he said.

There is a statute that requires bartenders to stop serving alcohol to intoxicated patrons, Keeven said. Taverns also can get training for their bartenders, to help them understand their responsibilities, how to spot signs of excessive intoxication and check identification.

BASSET, which stands for Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Server Education and Training, is offered through the Illinois Liquor Control Commission for free, Keeven said.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 239-2507.

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