A Buffalo man faces multiple charges for allegedly intentionally driving his vehicle into the entrance of a Chippewa Street bar.
The incident happened early Sunday morning at the Bottoms Up nightclub. Najeeb Shabazz Jackson, 24, was arraigned in City Court Monday morning on charges of Assault in the Second Degree, Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree and Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, all Class D felonies.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says Jackson committed the act after he was kicked out of the club earlier that night. Two people suffered minor injuries. The crash happened at approximately 4:20 a.m., just after the bar had closed.
Flynn, on Monday, said the assault charge stems from the allegation that Jackson used his vehicle as a "dangerous instrument."
"Normally, in assault cases, in order to get it to a felony-level assault, someone need to be hurt, and seriously hurt. In this case, we don't have anyone who was seriously hurt, but it arises to the felony level because the defendant allegedly used a dangerous instrument," Flynn said.
Flynn said the result could have been much worse and is he "amazed" no one was seriously injured. The DA said several questions need to be answered in the investigation.
"When was he kicked out of the bar? What were the circumstances of him being kicked out of the bar? How much time elapsed between him being kicked out of the bar and getting his car? Did he walk and get his car? How far was his car parked away? Did he drive recklessly up Chippewa before he ran into the bar or did he drive normal up Chippewa and then speed up and go into the window?," Flynn wondered.
The DA said he is also looking into a report a security guard at the bar fired his weapon at the time of the incident. No charges have been filed, but Flynn said he is concerned that a weapon was fired in the situation.
Bottoms Up is closed for now and plans to reopen on Thursday.
"We are incredibly thankful that our security and staff were able to protect our guests. Their quick thinking and unwavering commitment to the safety of our guests was on full display during this unthinkable incident," reads a message on the bar's Facebook page. "We are currently working with the Buffalo Police Department to assist in their investigation of this incident."
Jackson will be back in court on Friday. He is being held on $50,000 bond. If convicted of all charges, he would face a maximum of seven years in prison.