Bloodstains mar the floor of the Junction Tavern, the result of a dispute between an unarmed man and a man who brought a gun into the bar which nearly cost a man his life.
Illinois strictly forbids patron from carrying guns into bars. So how did this happen?
Well, let’s discuss the shooter, Charles W. Casford. Mr. Casford, 42, is a local man who everyone in Dupue agrees is nearly always the first one into the tavern.
The other man in this story, the “shootee” if you will, is Jackie L. Popp, 42, originally of Ohio, Illinois. He’s a man who, while he has had his brushes with the law, was turning his life around as a self-employed financial redistribution specialist when he encountered Mr. Casford, the self-anointed “King of the Bar”.
Mr. Casford, who closed down the bar with staff, took an unreasonable offense to Jackie’s desire to be the last man standing in “His” bar and confronted him with his gun drawn.
Jackie, not being the smartest of men, decided that confronting Mr. Casford was the better decision. This resulted in Mr. Casford firing a shot at Jackie, striking him in the leg, and claiming that he shot him in self-defense.
Jackie was transported to a local hospital for stabilization and on to a facility in Peoria, where he remains in treatment, condition unknown.
Now, given that Mr. Casford is the kind of man known to be there at the open of the bar and routinely there when it closes, how did he get a gun into the bar? Did he not know? Did he forget that he had his gun on him? Or did he simply feel that the law did not apply to him?
That last one. The law actually does NOT apply to him. Mr. Casford owns the Junction tavern and lives on site. So when he heard a disturbance in the wee hours of the morning, he got out of bed and walked from his house to his place of business, where he encountered Mr. Popp.
Mr. Popp, again, had decided to that engaging Charles in some kind of hand-to-gun combat was a good idea and went for him, resulting in his receiving a ballistic theft countermeasure in the leg.
Luckily, Mr. Popp survived what could have been terminal stupidity and will be receiving yet another taxpayer-funded stay at an Illinois criminal non-reformatory. While this should be a surprise to you, dear reader, who should believe in peace, justice, law, and order, Mr. Popp has had extensive first-hand experience with sentences which run on longer than this sentence as a repeat-recidivist with a rap sheet running back to 1998.
His specialties have included theft, burglary, robbery, and aggravated variants of same. In fact, he had just been let out early from a 12 year sentence as part of Illinois’ catch-and-release program.