State suspends Grumpy’s liquor license for 30 days |

State suspends Grumpy’s liquor license for 30 days

Sky-Hi News Staff Report
Grand County, CO Colorado
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News | Sky-Hi News

The state’s Liquor Enforcement Division has forced temporary closure of Grumpy’s saloon in Grand Lake.

For allowing patrons to shoot guns in the Grumpy’s bar after closing time one year ago, owner and liquor license holder Gary Gates was handed a negotiated settlement that Grumpy’s shut down for a 14-day period, now in effect.

The overall 30-day suspension includes 16 days held in abeyance. Those days may be “reactivated if there is a future violation,” said Mark Couch, spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Revenue, which includes the Liquor Enforcement Division.

Gates has also agreed to transfer the license to another party no later than March 31, 2011, according to Couch.

That person, “has to be acceptable to the department,” he said.

An off-duty Grand County deputy lost his job following the gunplay, which took place in January of 2010.

Former Grand County deputy Shawn Murphy received a deferred sentence of two years probation on a reckless endangerment charge. Murphy lost his job after almost 10 years working as a deputy following a sheriff’s office internal investigation of the incident.

Murphy had been present at the Grand Avenue bar with Collin Steward, who was a Grand Lake firefighter at the time, and former Grand County detentions deputy and former Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy Joshua Yusten.

With a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, Steward and Murphy allegedly took part in target practice, shooting into the west wall of Grumpy’s saloon. Grumpy’s bar owner Gary Gates allegedly had brought out the gun after the bar had closed.

For Gates’ actions that night, the court ruled five days of suspended jail time for disorderly conduct, to which Gates had pleaded guilty. Gates also received a deferred sentence of one year of probation on a charge of reckless endangerment on the condition that Gates refrain from “excessive” use of alcohol, perform public service and make a charitable contribution of $250.

Steward received a two-year deferred sentence on a charge of reckless endangerment, and Yusten had violated a protection order that prohibited him from being around a firearm.

The state’s level of liquor-license enforcement of the incident is considered to be on the “strict” side, according to Couch.

The Grumpy’s liquor license came up for its annual review with the local liquor licensing authority, Grand Lake, on Sept. 6. Grand Lake suspended reviewing the renewal until the state rendered its enforcement. According to town officials, it’s likely the license renewal will not come up again until after the enforcement is completed and Gates’ has transferred the license to another party.

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