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Bar brawl lands two men in jail on St. Patrick’s Day

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A drunken brawl at a restaurant bar led to two men being jailed on St. Patrick’s Day, according to a Putnam County Sheriff’s Office report.

Thomas Richard Hargrove, 52, of Cedar Cove Drive, Buckhead, was charged with aggravated assault and released on a $5,000 property bond.

And Matthew Denton Smith, 50, of Lakeview Drive, Eatonton, was charged with simple battery and released on a $440 property bond, according to jail records.

Putnam County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Justin Brock responded to the call regarding a fight at the Lake Oconee Bistro Taphouse and Wine Bar around 10:30 p.m. According to Brock’s report, when he arrived, Smith and the restaurant manager were outside waiting, and Hargrove was also waiting, but on the other side of the building.

Putnam County Emergency First Responders were called to check injuries, but both men reportedly refused medical treatment. After talking with all three men and reviewing the security camera footage, Brock said in his report that Hargrove and Smith were sitting at the bar with a couple of people between them. Something was said between the two men, and they both got up out of their seats. Smith grabbed Hargrove’s arm, but then they separated and started shoving one another. Smith reportedly said Hargrove “pushed him against the bar.”

The restaurant manager broke up the fight, but after he walked away to call 911, Hargrove grabbed a high-back metal barstool and swung it at Smith, striking Smith in the left forearm. Hargrove lost his footing while swinging the barstool, and he fell on the floor.

“Smith then kicked Hargrove in the face, rendering Hargrove unconscious,” Brock wrote in his report of the camera footage.

“Hargrove said that he did not remember what had happened. He was talking at the bar and the next thing he knew, he was (regaining conscience and) laying on the floor,” Brock’s report says regarding his interviews with the three men.

The deputy also noted that Hargrove had “fresh bright red blood spots on the front of his shirt and dirt on the back of his shirt, but no visible marks on his face.” He notes in his report that both men “had the strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from (their) person and speech was slurred.”

Deputy A. Flores arrived and assisted Brock in transporting both men to the jail at Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.