Second firework thrown at gay bar in Austin this summer, owner says don't panic

The Austin Police Department is looking for anyone involved in throwing fireworks at various downtown locations. One of those locations is a bar called The Iron Bear, an LGBT friendly bar that owners say is open to any and every one.

Wednesday was a typical karaoke night, until someone decided to drive past the bar throwing a lit firecracker onto the patio while people were enjoying their night out.

Steven Rivas and his husband were at The Iron Bear in Downtown Austin when someone from a moving car threw an M-80 firecracker onto the patio.

In this exclusive surveillance video, you can see the commotion.  "All of a sudden we heard a very loud bang and the window pulsed a little bit. Turned around and we saw smoke and a green flame,” Rivas says. Rivas said it happened so fast, by the time the smoke from the fireworks vanished, so did the car that was driving by.

The Austin Police Department says about 30-40 minutes later, another firework was thrown on the south side of the Driskill, at the corner of 6th and Brazos. "Fireworks are illegal in the Austin city limits and they're certainly illegal if someone is trying to use it as a method of intimidation."

But it's nothing new to The Iron Bear.

On June 28th one of the co-owners of The Iron Bear, Benny Beshear, says the same thing happened there, with the same type of firecracker. "I just had to wait for the cops to get here. I was hoping they'd show up because last time they didn't show up until 3:30 in the morning, the first time they didn't show up. But I guess so many people called they showed up. I was kind of disappointed because you'd think they'd show up especially with the Austin bombings recently it's a firecracker but still somebody could have been hurt,” Beshear says.

No one was hurt in these situations, but police are still looking for whoever is responsible.

Beshear says, "Some people were mad. Most people weren't really scared at this point they were mad."

Earlier this month in North Carolina, surveillance video caught almost the exact same situation.

Beshear says he doesn't want to downplay the two incidents that have happened this year, but he feels whoever is responsible saw their bar as an open window of opportunity because of where the bar is situated. He says they'll have extra security this weekend for Austin Pride, and he's noticed APD has been driving by his bar more than normal since Wednesday.

"If you saw what happened in Asheville it happened here it was very powerful. Fireworks aren't meant to be thrown onto the pavement,” Rivas says. Rivas says they’re shaken but not stirred.

On Wednesday music kept playing and they requested the DJ to play “Fireworks” by Katy Perry and continued to have a good time.

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