Firework thrown at Austin gay bar for ‘second time’ this summer – just days before Pride
A firework was thrown at a gay bar in Austin, USA, in the early hours of Thursday morning (August 9), with the owner saying it is the second time this has happened this summer.
The explosive was thrown from a moving car onto the pavement outside The Iron Bear in West Eighth Street, where about a dozen people were standing, reports regional paper My Statesman.
The incident took place just after 1am local time, when a karaoke night was being held.
Eye witness Steve Rivas, who was enjoying a night out at The Iron Bear with his husband, told My Statesman: “There was a bright green flash followed by a burst of smoke.”
Bengie Beshear, co-owner of The Iron Bear, said that no-one was hurt in the incident.
Beshear told the regional paper he did not know if the bar was targeted because it was a gay venue, saying that he did not hear any anti-gay slurs being shouted, but added that he was “little more concerned this time because this is the second time this happened.”
The co-owner said a new street-facing camera would be installed because the CCTV at the bar did not capture the firework being thrown on Thursday.
He said that another firework was thrown onto the sidewalk outside the bar on June 28, which was also a karaoke night.
The police reportedly did not respond to the June incident.
In as statement posted on The Iron Bear’s Facebook page, Beshear said: “So someone in a black or dark colored car threw a firecracker onto the patio about 1:08am. The cops were called and actually showed up this time.
“No one on the patio got a description of the car and our camera system doesn’t record the street. The cops said they would look into it but without a plate number or description of the person/people in the car .. shrug.
“Going forward, I will be placing a camera outside that can see license plates. I also asked the officer if they could patrol this block more and station a car on the block for a few weeks. I will also call them tomorrow and follow up.”
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Austin police said that officers responded to an incident at the bar at around 1am.
The force added that another firework was chucked near Driskill Hotel on Thursday, about half an hour after the incident at The Iron Bear.
Austin Pride’s main parade and festival takes place on Saturday (August 11), with up to 400,000 people expected to attend.
The Iron Bear has reportedly stepped up security since the firework attack, and owners have requested an increase police presence around the venue.