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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Four people were arrested during a raid Friday at the Sports & Spirits bar, 1723 E. Wayne St.

Midnight raid at bar; 4 arrests

Owner faces felony count; police find pot


A stabbing.

A shooting.

Another shooting.

Several arrests after a police raid.

Yet another shooting, a robbery and another stabbing.

Those are a few of the reasons police were called to the Sports & Spirits bar in Fort Wayne during the last several years, but they are merely drops in the bucket compared with what city police say they have documented: more than 100 calls for a police response at the bar since 2013.

Undercover city police officers and a confidential informant eventually saw enough inside the bar at 1723 E. Wayne St. and South Anthony Boulevard that police arrived just after midnight Thursday with a search warrant and took the bar’s owner and three others to jail.

The owner, identified as 46-year-old Burke W. Baughman Sr. of the 1800 block of Niagara Drive, was arrested on a preliminary felony charge of maintaining a common nuisance, Fort Wayne police said.

A woman at the bar was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession and two other women were arrested on warrants, police said.

Investigators zeroed in on the bar not only for the litany of reasons they’d been there, police said, but also because of complaints from nearby residents about several violent incidents around the bar.

As the officers and the informant made their way through the bar this month, they reported they could smell people smoking marijuana, a probable cause affidavit said.

The informant eventually bought marijuana from one of the customers in a deal in the restroom, the report said.

In the last 11 years, according to police reports, there have been at least three shootings – one that resulted in two people shot – three stabbings, a robbery and a police raid that resulted in seven arrests at the business.

Last week, Senaca V. Lapsley, 33, was sentenced to 78 years in prison for shooting a gun into the bar from the outside, shattering the building’s glass windows early Christmas morning. Two people inside the bar were shot and one of them was badly injured.

There are also accounts of violence that occurred nearby but originated at Sports & Spirits.