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3 surrender in connection with fight, gunplay at Fayette bar

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By Rick Bruni Jr. and Liz Zemba
Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

Three men who were wanted in connection with an assault that ended with gunfire at a Fayette County bar were arraigned on criminal charges on Wednesday after they turned themselves in, police said.

Criminal charges against a fourth man who was wanted for the same incident were withdrawn, according to police, but the man's brother is now charged.

Allen Brandon Dade, 31, and Gregory D. Hackett Jr., 31, both of Brownsville, and Richard Allen Grooms, 30, of Allison, were arraigned before Masontown District Judge Randy Abraham on charges of riot, simple assault and conspiracy for the Dec. 22 incident at Jilly's Restaurant and Tavern, 1201 First St. in Luzerne.

Richard Grooms is the brother of Regis Grooms, 29, according to a police affidavit. Regis Grooms initially was identified and charged in the incident, but those charges were withdrawn, according to state police, when Richard Grooms called troopers on Wednesday to advise them that he, not his brother, was involved in the fight.

“He related that people get him and Regis confused,” police said in the affidavit. “He related he was the one fighting.”

Two others — Paris Brown, 35, of Hiller, and Damion Ethridge, 33, of Brownsville — already were jailed for allegedly firing guns into the bar and wounding two people.

The incident started around 2 a.m. Saturday at Jilly‘s Restaurant and Tavern, 1201 First St. After Brown and Ethridge were ejected from the bar for fighting, they fired semiautomatic handguns through the front door, police said.

Brown was assaulted during the fight inside, police said.

Ethridge, who was waiting outside, allegedly fired shots through the front door of the bar after Brown was thrown out, and Brown allegedly entered the bar and fired shots.

Brown and Ethridge first ran, then escaped in a van. They were arrested on Frick Street after a short foot pursuit, police said. Two guns with live rounds were recovered nearby.

Two of the bar‘s patrons, Cassandra Ross, 30, of Brownsville and Garrett Grooms, 26, of Cardale were struck by bullets and were taken to Uniontown Hospital, according to police. Ross was later transported to a Pittsburgh hospital.

Brown and Ethridge were charged with four counts of aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. Both were sent to Fayette County jail in lieu of $50,000 bond. They face preliminary hearings 1 p.m. Dec. 31 before Redstone District Judge Mike Defino Jr.

Dade, Hackett and Richard Grooms are free on $25,000 unsecured bond each. They face preliminary hearings 9 a.m. Dec. 31 before Defino.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbruni@tribweb.com or 724-684-2635. Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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