Washington County liquor officials have absolved a Hagerstown bar owner for hitting an unruly patron over the head with a baseball bat last month.
After listening to about 10 minutes of testimony during a Wednesday hearing, the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County voted 3-0 to clear R and K Pub owner Richard Reeder of any wrongdoing in the Sept. 26 incident.
“I make a motion that the board take no disciplinary action in this case,” liquor board Treasurer William Dunham said.
The other two liquor board members, Chairman Robert Everhart and Treasurer Charles Mades, voted to approve Dunham’s motion.
Reeder still faces charges of first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, according to the statement of probable cause filed by Hagerstown police in Washington County District Court.
If convicted on all counts, the charges carry a maximum 40-year prison sentence.
Reeder admitted during the hearing to knocking James Yost to the floor after striking him with a baseball bat at the Baltimore Street bar on the evening of Sept. 26.
He said Yost ignored a number of orders to leave the bar and threatened to kill him.
“When he threatened to kill me is when I pulled the bat out,” Reeder told the liquor board.
Hagerstown police received a call at 6:51 p.m. on Sept. 26 for a patron who refused to leave the R and K Pub at 15 E. Baltimore St., according to the statement of probable cause.
Documents allege that as the two argued, Yost threw a quarter and hit Reeder in the face.
“Reeder then took two steps closer to Yost and struck him on the left side of his head with a wooden baseball bat,” the statement of probable cause said. “Yost fell out of his chair and fell onto the ground.
Reeder walked around the bar and stepped on Yost’s chest and told him to stay on the ground until police arrived.”
Police testified during the hearing that Yost, who was treated for the injury at Meritus Medical Center east of Hagerstown, was uncooperative during the incident.
Yost did not attend Wednesday’s hearing at the liquor board. He was charged on Wednesday in a summons with one count each of second-degree assault and trespassing on private property.