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El Paso man wanted free shots before firing gun in Kern Place bar, affidavit alleges

Daniel Borunda
El Paso Times

An El Paso man was bothering customers, repeatedly asking them to buy him a shot, before he fired gunshots into the air in the Cincinnati Avenue Entertainment District, records allege.

A criminal complaint document obtained by the El Paso Times reveals new details in last week's shooting in Kern Place. No one was injured in the incident.

Police quickly arrested Kevin Charles, 46, after the shooting at about 1:30 a.m. April 6 at the Good Times at 2626 bar.

According to a criminal complaint affidavit filed by police, Charles and two other customers were in the outside patio section of the bar at 2626 N. Mesa St.

Kevin Charles

The manager/bartender told police that he had refused to serve Charles because he was intoxicated and was bothering other customers, asking that they buy him a shot of alcohol, which they refused, the complaint states.

The two other customers left when the bartender decided to close early.

As the bartender was putting items away, he saw Charles raise a gun in his right hand and fire two shots into the air in the patio, the affidavit alleges.

Fearing for his safety, the bartender ran back into the business and closed a glass door behind him before heading toward a back emergency exit, the affidavit states.

Charles then allegedly followed the bartender inside, yelling at him "to serve him a shot," the affidavit states. The bartender escaped out the emergency door and hid behind the nearby Rib Hut sign.

Kern Place complaints about drunks, violence 

The Cincinnati Avenue nightlife area is the site of ongoing complaints from Kern Place neighbors about loud music, drunks, violence and crime. Police are assigned nightly to patrol the district. 

There were at least six officers in the area when they heard two gunshots ring out, according to the complaint.

Officers responding to the sound of gunfire saw the bartender run and hide behind the Rib Hut sign by North Mesa Street.

"That's him!" the bartender told approaching officers, pointing at Charles, who was on the North Mesa intersection, crossing from the bar and heading west toward a Subway restaurant.

The bartender moments earlier had seen Charles exit Good Times through the outside patio gate, the affidavit states.

According to the complaint, police saw a man in a tan shirt and bluejeans running with a black service dog heading westbound on Cincinnati Avenue.

Officers caught up to Charles, who was holding a Bud Light can, as he was headed south in the Subway area parking lot, the complaint states.

Charles struggled to keep his balance as he walked, had slurred speech and yelled belligerently as officers with guns drawn ordered him to stop, the complaint states.

Charles got on his knees and raised his hands but allegedly refused orders to lay on his stomach until an officer rushed him from the front and knocked him to the ground, the affidavit states.

After he was handcuffed, a frisk found Charles had an empty ankle holster, the affidavit states. Police soon found a white-and-blue Ruger .380 pistol hidden by the base of a nearby light pole.

Crime:Man arrested after shooting inside Northeast El Paso bar

More:El Paso girl, 16, shot while boyfriend, 20, was handling gun, police say

A Fusion Center response exchange operator also saw Charles discard the gun on police cameras in the Cincinnati district, the affidavit states. The Fusion Center is a law enforcement information sharing center. El Paso Police Department cameras have been in use at various public locations since 2016.

When officers tried to put Charles into the back of a patrol car, he allegedly refused and began struggling and swinging his leg back, kicking the shins of an officer, who punched him on his back and abdomen to make him comply until police were able to force him into the car and restrain him, the affidavit states.

Charles, of the 900 block of South Mesa Hills Drive, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful discharge of a firearm and unlawful carrying of a weapon on alcohol premises.

El Paso County Jail records show that he was released Saturday on a $28,000 bond.

Daniel Borunda may be reached at 915-546-6102; dborunda@elpasotimes.com; @BorundaDaniel on Twitter.

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