Throwdown At The Broadway Pizza
by Jason Bradley
You know what I love? It’s when I take my family out to eat, and before you know it, the tables next to me are being knocked over by two lovely individuals who seem to be assaulting a third. Yeah, I get it. I’m picky. Can I ask just one question?
What is wrong with us?
You see, I’m watching the Baltimore riots all over TV, witnessing Friday night at the fights (on a Sunday afternoon) at my local pizza joint, and wondering what goes through people’s minds?
Let me back up a bit. My daughter had just completed her dance recital, and per tradition, we head out to eat. We used to hit the 50’s Grill, until everyone else decided to do the same thing. Then it was DQ. This year we decided to do something different and go to Broadway Pizza in Crystal. I asked for a Cherry Pepsi, and it hadn’t even gotten to me yet when I heard a crash and yelling. Oh goodie, it’s amateur hour at Broadway. I think it’s over almost as quick as it started, when a pile of bodies comes barreling into the tables our group was sitting at. A man and woman tackled another man. The first man was on top of all of them throwing punches at the guy on the bottom, and instead repeatedly hitting his girlfriend (or whatever) in the side. Some patron suplexes the guy on top in order to get him off the pile and away from the apparent victim. I helped a lady off the floor, that had been knocked over by the melee.
I look around in sudden terror, realizing all of the kids had split. I finally saw my wife and three year old had escaped to the party room with some of the women from our group, crashing a party that Mayor Adam’s wife was attending. I see the attacker and his girl trying to get to the other guy, so I place myself between the party room and the brawlers, thinking “there’s no way you’re getting through here”. Some of the other men had pushed the charming couple to the door, when he broke loose to attack the guy a third time. I’m still between the fight and the party room where folks are holed up for their safety, just closer to the bout, so I can keep them far away from the room if need be. The other patrons that were helping got the man and woman out the door just in time for the police to roll up.
Long story short, the charming couple were ticketed and released. That’s right, violent individuals were sent back into your community on their own recognizance. I talked about this with a source at the City who said that officers have the freedom to decide who to haul in and who to release. This is not not the City Council’s doing (c’mon, how many times have you ever heard me say that?). This is policy set by the police department, who’s personnel is overseen by the City Manager.
I tried to call the restaurant about the incident the following day, and the GM was so horrified by the event that he decided to keep his day off intact. I left my name and number and am still waiting for a call back almost two weeks later. You lost the business of over 20 people that day, and some, possibly, forever. You’d think he might see some urgency.
You see, two drunkards knocked over tables where patrons were sitting with no regard for children. Blood was flying around. It was all over employees, the patrons who intervened, the floor, and who knows where else? Restaurant staff were traumatized, with one girl shaking and sobbing. Your customers should not be protecting your staff. Hire somebody to do it. How can Broadway not have someone there on staff that is big enough to handle this situation? Shouldn’t the bartender have known to cut off the aggressors before a problem arose? How are these safe people to send back out into the neighborhood? These are unanswered questions I still have. How am I supposed to feel safe bringing my family there again? … Or anywhere in that area, for that matter?
Between the recent incident at Perkins and the frequency of assaults and robberies, I’d like to see that we’re taking violent crime seriously in that area of town. This isn’t who we are in Crystal. We are being held hostage by a small percentage of the population that thinks it’s okay to act like a three year old. We need a charter change to allow our City Council greater influence over personnel decisions, including policy decisions made by our police department. Right now, there’s nothing they can do, outside of appointing another City Manager. I’m not sure that fixes this. It’s the same in Cooper and Armstrong high schools, where they refuse to suspend violent students, and then tell us that suspension rates are down, like that is some sort of achievement. This policy is dangerous, and it only rewards the violent offenders. The school board and administration should be held accountable.
If you are one of the offenders in this situation, or have been in other situations, and you are reading this, you should be ashamed of yourself. This is not how we act in this country. The people that you dress down verbally or come after physically are not the problem. You are the problem.
The only thing that will solve this is to fix ourselves. I look at this stuff, the riots in Baltimore, the officers shot in New York, and now the shooting in Garland, and the solution is not restricting knives, guns, or clubs. People will use their fists, if necessary (trust me, I just witnessed it). We need to change us. We need to resolve ourselves to use kindness and patience with others. We have to choose to be better. We lose freedoms when we choose to be violent (verbally or physically), because government will step in. That said, when someone is actually physically violent and violates someone else’s right to security, they need to go away. We can’t give our tacit approval by sending them back out into public. That does a great disservice to the innocent, and is terrible policy. You get violent, you go to jail. That should be our policy. That is how we protect our people.
Jason Bradley is an entrepreneur in the music industry (Jason Bradley Live and Paper Lanterns Intl) and owns a consulting/advocacy/education firm that specializes in non-partisan politics (Community Solutions MN). Jason Bradley helps others to reach their goals in music and reduce the size and influence of government.
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Entry filed under: Crystal. Tags: Aldo Siccoli, Armstrong High School, assault, brawl, Broadway Pizza, Chris Hester, Community Solutions MN, Cooper High School, Crystal, David Dahl, disorderly conduct, fight, ISD #281, Jason Bradley, kindness, Robbinsdale Schools.