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Lincoln police arrested four people and deployed pepper spray early Sunday after fights broke out at a bar hosting a party following the Crawford-Indongo boxing match.

The department has opened a tavern investigation into the incident at Heidelberg's Sports Bar, 4620 Bair Ave., Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister said Monday.

Just after 10:30 p.m. Saturday, a group of 15 officers went to the bar, where they knew Terrence "Bud" Crawford and his affiliates planned to go once the match ended, the chief said.

Officers spoke to the bar's management about warnings they received from Omaha police about disturbances at similar events coinciding with Crawford's matches, Bliemeister said.

After midnight, a crowd of about 100 people were standing in line and the bar was approaching capacity when a round of storms rolled in and many people left, he said.

Crawford, who knocked out Julius Indongo in the third round of the fight at Pinnacle Bank Arena, showed up at the bar just after 1 a.m., the chief said.

Near 2 a.m. fights broke out inside and outside of the bar, and dispatchers sent every available officer to control what Bliemeister described as a "melee." 

At least 25 Lincoln police officers, with help from Nebraska state troopers, responded to the bar to break up the fights, he said.

Some in the crowd ignored commands from police to stay back and encroached on officers trying to arrest one person, the chief said.

An officer used pepper spray to protect the detainee and the other officers, Bliemeister said.

No one was seriously injured, but someone in the crowd punched an officer in the jaw, he said.

The four people arrested were Omaha residents and were taken to jail on suspicion of offenses such as disturbing the peace and resisting arrest.

The fights came during one of the busiest times for the department as storms knocked out power across the city early Sunday morning and prompted hundreds of calls for police service, the chief said.

During the incident, Lancaster County Sheriff's deputies responded to some calls in the city.

This incident stressed police resources, the chief said, adding "it shouldn't have happened."

Lincoln police had spoken to various bar owners in the weeks leading up to the Crawford fight to warn them of the potential for problems, Bliemeister said.

Once the department concludes its tavern investigation, any findings of bar violations will be forwarded to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission, the chief said.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.


Riley Johnson reports on breaking news and public safety issues in Lincoln and southeast Nebraska.

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