Frequenters of a gay bar in Austin, Texas are on edge after a firework was thrown at the building.
Earlier Thursday (June 28) morning, General Manager Jason Grodzinsky and a few late night partiers were enjoying the patio area of the Iron Bear bar.
Then, Grodzinsky says a firecracker that was “like a little M80” was thrown out from a car and blew off near the customers. While no one was seriously injured, one customer did get burned.
As he told the Austin Chronicle, Grodzinsky didn’t see who threw the firework. He didn’t even hear him as the assailant gave no warning and didn’t yell out anything. That said, Grodzinsky says that he thinks the firework was thrown from Eighth Street as that’s the street he was facing away from.
Because the perpetrator remained silent, General Manager Grodzinsky and bar owners Roger Rozell and Bengie Beshear are unsure if the attack was “motivated by hate.”
“Don’t get me wrong, it scared the shit out of me,” Grodzinsky told the Chronicle. “But I’m fairly certain it was an isolated incident.”
The owners shared the same perspective later on when social media started to go crazy with the story. Wanting to settle down the growing sensationalized telling the incident, bar owner Bengie Beshear wrote up a post on the bar’s official Facebook account.
The full statement said:
“So just to calm the rhetoric down, some one from a car threw a firecracker, not an explosive device, onto the patio last night close to 2AM. No one was hurt. No slurs accompanied the firecracker. The cops were called just to be safe but no officer had shown up by the time all the employees left. We do not feel this was a targeted incident more of someone being an asshole.
Despite this, Grodzinsky and the owners are concerned with something, and that’s the Austin police’s lack of response to the incident.
Grodzinsky says he immediately called 311 after the firecracker blew out, but was transferred to a 911 dispatcher. That dispatcher asked for Grodzinsky’s name and phone number before saying an officer would be on the way.
When Grodzinsky spoke to the Austin Chronicle the next afternoon, he still hadn’t heard back from the police.
The Austin police now say that they are investigating Grodzinsky’s claims. Meanwhile, the Iron Bear is open and running as if nothing happened.