Police have arrested the man suspected of an attack last week on Grand Prize employee Josh Vaughan.
Police arrested Patrick Kelly, 32, on December 23, two days after the attack at the laid back Montrose bar. Kelly was identified in part thanks to security video of the incident, and was chosen out of a lineup by Vaughan. Kelly has been charged with misdemeanor assault and felony drug possession, according to a story in the Houston Chronicle. Police said Kelly had what they believed to be cocaine when he was arrested.
The assault happened around 10 p.m. on December 21. The employee, Josh Vaughan, was left with gashes in his scalp requiring 10 stitches after the Kelly smashed a cocktail glass over Vaughan’s head. Kelly had been asked repeatedly by Vaughan to wear a mask inside the bar when not seated.
The following day, staff members at Grand Prize posted abut the incident to Instagram, asking for the public’s help in finding the man.
The attack came just three weeks after Grand Prize tentatively reopened indoor service after being closed since Houston’s original coronavirus “safe at home” order was issued in March.
“We have done nothing but try and be the safest place we can be since we opened our doors at the end of November and follow the rules asked of us,” general manager Lindsay Beale said in an email. “We stayed closed for over 7 months and only opened when we did to ensure that our employees could start making money and take care of themselves again.”
According to Beale, on the evening of December 21, a man in his 30s walked into the bar after being briefed at the door on the rules regarding masks and table service. He ordered one drink under the name Tammy Montemayor and closed his tab. After he closed out, he left his table to go the restroom, taking his drink with him. Vaughan, the employee, reminded him that he needed to wear a mask when not seated, Beale said. When the man exited the restroom, still not wearing his mask, Vaughan began to remind him again. But before Vaughan could finish, the man smashed his cocktail glass on Vaughan’s head, ran to his car, a dark-colored Toyota FJ Cruiser with a white top, and sped away.
Cameras inside Grand Prize were able to catch images of the assailant, and a bystander outside recorded video as he drove off. Management immediately called the police and filed a police report, with the intention to press charges.
“This was not something our employee deserved and we weren’t being unreasonable or aggressive to this human,” Beale said. “I as a manager should never have to clean my employee’s blood off my hands over wearing a mask.”
Meanwhile, regulars of the beloved bar have asked how they can help Vaughan. He’s set up a Venmo account to help defray the cost of his medical expenses.
Beale said the incident has not affected management’s decision to reopen the bar.
“We aren’t going to let a turd like that make us feel unsafe,” she said.
This story has been updated to reflect the arrest of Patrick Kelly.