Worries about Violence at Harrisburg Bars

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By Sam Jones
By Andy Shofstall

SALINE COUNTY-- Some neighbors are raising concerns about a rash of violence outside two Harrisburg bars.

E.L. Shagwells and Poor Boys Lounge sit in the middle of a residential neighborhood. They've been around for years, but neighbors say they've had enough of all the fights outside the establishments.

"Every weekend it's the same thing. Let's see how many people we can get drunk, then there's fights and then the police are called. It's continuous. It's never eased unless they've shut them down," explained a neighbor who didn't want to reveal his name, saying bar patrons "go over there and get blind drunk and raise hell."

It often ends in violence. There was a stabbing in January at Poor Boys
and a shooting at Shagwell's last July.

"It's scary living here because my daughter and I live here and you never know when somebody's gonna pull out a gun," added the resident.

The most recent incidents occurred last weekend. Police say Shagwell's saw a fight Friday night. It continued onto the streets, but no one pressed charges.

Then, Saturday night and Sunday morning, multiple people threw punches in the parking lot of Poor Boys. But everyone disappeared before police arrived.

"Unless they stop feeding people alcohol to the point of no return, it's never gonna get better," the neighbor told us.

Signs in lots near Shagwell's show there's no parking anywhere for bar patrons. Sources say it's due to fights and gun play.

One neighbor calls the area-- drunk row.

"I just wish somebody would take over responsibility for their actions here whether it's the city or the bar owners," he said.

The owners of both bars declined to speak on camera. Calls to Harrisburg leaders went unanswered Friday. Back in February, the city required bars to close an hour earlier, to try to curb violence. Then-Mayor Eric Gregg said more changes could be made if problems persist.
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