Pickup ramming closes bar, grill
The owner of the Grand Valley Pub and Grille in Parachute is scratching her head and counting her losses from a pickup being driven twice into her establishment early Sunday.
Brenda Locker said she doesn’t know what triggered the incident, which resulted in the arrest of Brandon Derrick Chee, 32, on suspicion of attempted vehicular homicide.
Police allege that Chee aimed the vehicle at people standing at the front door.
Chee also was booked on suspicion of third-degree assault, criminal mischief, menacing, resisting arrest and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He initially was held in Garfield County Jail in lieu of $15,200 bond, but that amount was raised Monday to $30,000 after Locker asked that it be increased.
Locker was in Utah for a weekend fishing trip when the incident occurred.
She said witnesses and police told her the incident began when Chee tried to choke the courtesy-shuttle driver for the bar, his reason unknown.
A customer pulled him away, and Chee later started to hit that customer outside the bar, she said. The customer asked Chee’s cousin to try to calm him down, and that’s when Chee got into the pickup and rammed the bar, aiming at the customer, who didn’t see the vehicle coming, Locker said. Locker’s son pulled the customer out of the way.
Chee then backed up and rammed the building again as several people ran inside, Locker said she was told by police.
The incident occurred just before 2 a.m. Parachute police said Chee left the scene in the truck, and they located him a short time later, asleep in the vehicle. They had to use a Taser on him when they took him into custody, police said.
Locker said two big plate glass windows and two doors were destroyed, and damage was done to the interior.
“There’s glass everywhere. It’s horrible damage,” she said.
Locker said she can’t immediately reopen the bar but will try to open the adjacent dining room, which does not have structural damage.
“That will at least get some income coming in because this is just devastating,” she said.
Police say Chee is from Arizona. Locker said she was told he had been living in an apartment in Parachute. She said she had never seen him before.
Locker said the pub served Chee only one drink at the bar that night, but she didn’t know whether he may have been drinking or using drugs prior to arriving.
“He didn’t appear highly intoxicated, just very angry,” she said.