Operations

Bartender arrested for selling drinks to mass-shooting culprit

Photograph: Shutterstock

In a test of how far an alcohol server’s responsibilities may extend, a bartender in Plano, Texas, has been arrested for selling drinks in 2017 to a patron who shot and killed eight people after leaving the bar. 

Lindsey Glass was charged with violating the state alcohol beverage code, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of as much as $500. Authorities say Glass sold drinks to Spencer Hight at the Local Public House in Plano even after he showed signs of intoxication and started acting erratically. At one point, Hight took out a knife and spun it on the bar, according to local press reports. They cited a text sent by Glass to a friend in which she expressed her alarm about Hight, suggesting he was a psychopath. She also called 911 to report him, according to a media statement issued by her attorney. 

By continuing to serve Hight, Glass violated the so-called Certain Persons stipulation of the state beverage code, according to local authorities. The rule states, “A person commits an offense if the person with criminal negligence sells an alcoholic beverage to an habitual drunkard or an intoxicated or insane person.”

Glass’ attorney has categorically denied the charge.

Hight left the bar that September day to crash a party at the home of his estranged wife, who had invited people over to watch a Dallas Cowboys game. He opened fire, killing the woman and seven other people before he was shot and killed by police. At the time, Police Chief Greg Rushin called the incident the worst mass shooting in Plano’s history. 

An autopsy revealed that Hight’s blood alcohol content was four times the legal limit.

The incident prompted the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to rescind Local Public House’s permit to serve alcohol last July. The establishment agreed to surrender its permit but admitted no wrongdoing. An investigation into Glass’ role began at that time.

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