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Imagine my mortification when I read the following press release on the KION TV website:
HOLLISTER, Calif – Hollister Police are looking for a suspect who stabbed another man at Johnny’s Bar Saturday morning.
The Hollister Police Department press release was sent out to the media on Thursday April 5th regarding an incident that took place in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday March 31st.
On Friday night March 30th business was great, everyone had a good time and we didn’t have any problems. My crew was in the process of locking up when police vehicles showed up, sirens blaring and my employees had no clue what was going on. They were basking in the glow of a wonderful evening full of cordial customers and great Karaoke singers. My doorman was informed by law enforcement that there had been a stabbing in the ally and was asked if he knew anything about it. He didn’t, and wasn’t even sure that the victim had been in Johnny’s.
As stated in the HPD press release the victim said that he had a verbal altercation with a man at Whiskey Creek, left there, came to Johnny’s, and that after leaving Johnny’s he was stabbed by the same man in the ally next to the bar. Our bars name was mentioned many times by the press and as written infers that someone was stabbed while there. As owner of Johnny’s for more than 17 years I take pride in our establishment, not to mention the fact that no one has ever been stabbed in it. We have a wonderful clientele; I don’t mean to say that we’ve never had a problem, but an ambiguous news report like this one could be very damaging to our business. People from our church, the bank and the grocery store are asking my husband and me about the stabbing at our restaurant and it’s truly disturbing. I’m writing this to set the record straight.
We have always cooperated with HPD and when asked to see our video surveillance I have complied, even going as far as downloading it on to a DVD for the requesting officer. I was never asked about this incident and wasn’t aware of it outside of a brief mention by one of my employees. He didn’t think it was a big deal because he hadn’t seen any evidence of a problem and didn’t think Johnny’s was involved in any way. I’m still not sure that we were.
If the victim retreated to Johnny’s to avoid a dispute it would have been wise to mention it to my doorman; in this case it seems calling the police or taking a cab home might have been the better decision. I inquired about seeing a photo of the man with the police department because I’d like to know if he was truly in my establishment. If he was a patron I would like to meet him. I am sincerely sorry for what happened to him and he is in our prayers.
It was important for me to share this because Johnny’s is, has been, and will always be a safe place to eat a great meal, enjoy a beverage, sing a song, and hang out with friends and I’m praying that our solid reputation will not be affected by this bad publicity.