Portage man charged with firing gun outside bar

2014-02-17T16:58:00Z 2014-02-17T22:10:14Z Portage man charged with firing gun outside barJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | Paul Hyde told police he only fired his gun outside of a bar early Sunday morning because he was afraid of being attacked.

Hyde, 26, of 5451 Aspen, was charged with criminal recklessness, battery and carrying a handgun without a permit.

Police were called to Sunset Lounge, 5844 U.S. 6, just after 3 a.m. Sunday on a report of a disturbance with shots fire.

When police arrived, they saw people attempting to leave the area in their cars. Police stopped traffic. A witness directed them to the car in which Hyde was driving with two passengers. The trio initially denied being involved or having a weapon in the vehicle. Police eventually found the pistol in the trunk of the car.

According to the police report, Hyde's former girlfriend confronted Hyde and his present girlfriend in the bar. A bit later, Hyde was seen striking his former girlfriend in the face outside of the bar, police said.

Hyde told police after the altercation, in which he contended he was also struck, he went to his car. He then saw three men in his rearview mirror approach his car. At that point, he told police, he took his pistol from under the front seat of the car to confront them.

Hyde said the three men backed off, but another group attempted to approach him, accusing him of striking the woman.

At that point, Hyde said he raised the gun and fired. Most witnesses said they heard two shots.

Hyde told police the crowd dispersed after he fired the gun.

Police said Hyde's handgun permit was expired.

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