Bar owner faces assault charges in Roseville

By: Sara Kandel | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published February 20, 2013

 Eastgate Pub, located in the 26000 block of Gratiot Avenue in Roseville, was the scene of an assault Feb. 9.

Eastgate Pub, located in the 26000 block of Gratiot Avenue in Roseville, was the scene of an assault Feb. 9.

Photo by Sara Kandel

ROSEVILLE — A Clinton Township man faces felony assault charges after he allegedly lured an unwitting man into his Roseville bar and attacked him with a gun.

Ernest Kenwood Grissom, owner of Eastgate Pub in Roseville, was arraigned on three felony charges in 39th District Court in Roseville Feb. 11. He is charged with one count of assault with intent to murder, a possible life felony; one count of felony firearm, a two-year felony; and one count of possession of a stolen firearm, a 10-year felony.

Grissom, 47, is accused of an assault that resulted in critical injuries after he reportedly lured an old friend he was feuding with to his bar with talks of reconciliation at 10 a.m. Feb. 9.

Witnesses said Grissom had been quarreling with the victim for some time when, on that Saturday morning, Grissom contacted him and suggested they meet to talk it out.

“It appears to be 100 percent premeditated,” Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said. “He lured him to the bar to bury the hatchet, and as soon as (the victim) gets there, he is immediately confronted by Grissom, who has a handgun.”

The victim was also carrying a handgun, but witnesses told police that when Grissom approached with his handgun drawn, the victim placed his on the floor, saying he wanted to talk peacefully. Once the handgun was on the floor and the victim was back standing upright, Grissom allegedly attacked him with the butt of his gun.

“He pistol-whipped him in the head multiple times and, while he was pistol-whipping him, the gun went off,” Berlin said.

According to police reports, the victim, a 47-year-old Roseville resident, did not attack Grissom or instigate a confrontation.

Investigating officers determined that Grissom and the victim had been feuding over the victim’s girlfriend, who works at Eastgate Pub. Supposedly the victim felt that Grissom had meddled in the relationship, causing a breakup, and the two had been fighting ever since, regularly threatening each other for weeks before the incident occurred.

A customer at the bar that morning, who witnessed the incident, called the police. When officers and ambulances arrived, they immediately transported the victim to a local hospital, where he was placed in critical condition.

“He is in serious condition,  the last I heard,” Berlin told the Eastsider Feb. 12. “He suffered from a crushed orbital socket and fractured skull.”

“It is our belief that Grissom’s intent was to kill him,” Berlin said.

A person not involved in the incident previously reported the gun used in the incident as stolen, Berlin said.

Grissom was arrested without incident at Eastgate Pub on the morning of the incident and is being held in Macomb County Jail in lieu of a $75,000 cash or surety bond, no 10 percent. Grissom requested court-appointed council, but at press time court records did not indicate who had been assigned to the case.

A preliminary exam was scheduled for 8:15 a.m. Feb. 20 in front of Judge Marco Santia of the 39th District Court in Roseville.