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Body cam footage shows alleged bar fight involving man given probation twice

On the same day a Kewanee man was back in court for another pre-trial hearing, 25 News obtained a firsthand look at the events of a bar fight that landed him in trouble in Tazewell County.

As we’ve previously reported, Brian Washburn was on probation for brutally beating his ex-girlfriend Emily Meeks in 2016.

Then, he was arrested this past May 23rd and charged with battery in connection with an incident at a Kewanee bar, The End Zone.

That brought him back in front of the same judge who initially gave him probation in the Meeks case.That judge, Michael Risinger, sentenced Washburn to “high risk probation” the second time around for violating conditions of his probation by being in a bar and drinking alcohol. Risinger did not hear allegations of battery as part of that probation violation hearing. Still, the sentence left Meeks claiming she felt as if the justice system had failed her twice.

Now Washburn is awaiting trial for that alleged bar fight in Henry County.

25 news obtained a copy of the arresting officer’s body cam footage through a Freedom of Information Act request.

In it, Washburn’s new girlfriend claims she was trying to break up with him when friends intervened.

In the bar surveillance video, Washburn can be seen leaning in toward his girlfriend, appearing to get in her face, before throwing a pool cue, knocking pool balls off the table. As she walks away from him, he tries to go after her, and that’s when another man tries to intervene. Shortly after that, it looks like Washburn pushes that man, then appears to lunge toward the bar owner who claims he was grabbed by the throat. It was an interaction the responding officer later says he witnessed while watching the bar security video.

“He definitely grabbed you by the neck, so if you change your mind, it’s up to you man,” says the responding officer in the video.

The girlfriend, meanwhile, claimed Washburn was not the aggressor that night.

The bar owner declined to press charges, but the other man who claimed he was pushed did.

Washburn is due back in Henry County court on the latest charge December 23rd.

Caitlin Knute

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