Beating victim’s family pushes for bar to close

Local News

BUCKLEY, Ill. (WCIA) — The family of a 67-year old beating victim is asking for help. Mike Hilligoss was attacked outside of the Dutchmaster Bar last month. Now, his family wants the village to step in and close the bar.

Mike Hilligoss says he’s always liked the Dutchmaster.  

“I stopped there all the time,” he said. “Once or twice a week. Whenever I stopped and had a beer, I always stopped there first.”

But when he was attacked by 24-year old Shane Weber outside the bar July 9, that changed.

“I was blindsided. Boom. I was down,” he said. “I don’t know what to do with that bar right now.”

But his wife and daughter do. They say the bar was negligent. Tuesday, they asked village trustees to close the Duchmaster, at least temporarily.  

“We don’t believe someone should lose their livelihood because everybody needs their jobs, but we do think that they should be closed down for a certain amount of time. Because if they don’t, this is going to keep on going,” said his wife, Rita. 

Hilligoss suffered broken ribs, a broken collarbone and bleeding in his brain. He’s not the only one who has been hurt outside the bar.

“A guy died up there a few month before this happened,” Hilligoss said.

But, the family says there’s a way to stop the violence.

“Shut them down for awhile. Make them realize what they did to me. I’m hurting 24/7,” Hilligoss said.

Other patrons disagree. They say situations like this come from a bad seed, not a bad bar.  

“It wasn’t the bar who did it. It was Shayne Weber who caused the problems and has been causing the problems,” says Dawn Garrelts.

The owner of the bar says these are isolated incidents. He adds, he feels bad about what happened, but he doesn’t know what more he can do.  

Village officials have reached out to their lawyer. They’re waiting for advice about how to move forward. 

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