If you're in Fort Worth and you head down Loop 820 until you're just about in North Richland Hills, you'll find a little place called Redneck Heaven. The name is a self-conscious, somewhat tongue-in-cheek reappropriation of a term often used to disparage white Southerners -- on the bar's website, you'll find pictures of a Redneck Birthday Cake (candles stuffed into a dozen cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon) and an advertisement for a drink called a Minnow Bomb -- but it also seems to be a pretty accurate description of the place.
Take last night, when four Fort Worth police officers were dispatched to the bar just after 11 p.m. There, at a table along the building's north side, they made contact with a 21-year-old man clad in a black shirt, jeans and cowboy boots. His name was Matthew Menard, and he was "extremely intoxicated," according to a police report.
At issue was Menard's $31.23 bar tab, which he was refusing to pay, not to mention the stuff -- bottles and the like -- he had been hurling from his table.
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One of the officers told Menard that he was under arrest and ordered him to stand up. Menard refused and shrugged off one officer who tried to grab his arm, prompting a minor struggle as two officers wrestled Menard to the ground.
They had only managed to get one wrist cuffed when the officers became worried by the other customers who were beginning to circle around, particularly the two who were cursing and yelling loudly at police while inching ever-closer. To bring things to a quick resolution, and to avoid getting clocked by the dangling steel handcuff he worried Menard might swing, mace-like, at his head, one of the officers pulled out his Taser, put it in "stun" mode, and applied it to Menard's lower back.
With that, Menard's other wrist was cuffed and he was led out of the bar, but he was no more cooperative, repeatedly kicking at the officers with his cowboy boots. He kept doing so when they tried to put him in leg restraints, so one of the officers -- the same one who had used the Taser -- dosed Menard pepper spray. Menard continued to struggle, prompting a second spritz.
Menard was taken to the Fort Worth City Jail on charges of resisting arrest, theft of service, and public intoxication.