Gardner appears in court
MICHIGAN CITY — A local bar owner accused of hitting a female patron in the face with a bottle of alcohol appeared Tuesday for his initial hearing in La Porte Superior Court 1, where he was scheduled to return for an omnibus hearing on Dec. 28.
Gordon R. Gardner, 51, posted $25,000 cash bond shortly after his arrest last Friday; and appeared in person for what is typically a video conference for offenders in lockup at La Porte County Jail.
Gardner faces three felony charges stemming from the alleged attack: Aggravated battery, battery and criminal recklessness – felony Levels 3, 5 and 6, respectively.
Police reports say Gardner, the owner at Decoys Neighborhood Bar and Grill, admits to having thrown a bottle of alcohol at a male patron who poured his drink on the bar in the early morning hours of Oct. 29. However, Gardner said, the bottle accidentally hit the female patron who accompanied the man.
The woman sustained an apparent flesh wound to her top lip, as well as a broken tooth. Her injuries were treated at Franciscan St. Anthony Health Michigan City.
According to the victim’s statement to police, Gardner became agitated when she wrote “cash” on the tip line of her bar tab. He allegedly told her and her friends they should leave the bar if they did not intend to tip him. The woman said she assured him they would leave a tip, but he continued to berate them until they decided to leave. She reports she was leaving the bar, when she turned to see if her friends were following her, and was struck in the mouth with the liquor bottle.
If convicted of his criminal charges, Gardner could face up to 24.5 years in the Indiana Department of Correction and fines of up to $30,000.