3/6/17 – Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt says a coordinated law enforcement effort focused on a Beaver Dam bar Saturday night was a success. Schmidt says that the Madison Police Department Gang Unit provided local officials with the tip that a private party with possible gang ties was going to be held at Pop’s Eatery, a banquet hall on Madison Street that is also as of late going by the new name “La Boom.” The business closed early on Saturday after their DJ cancelled. The sheriff says it was a good night and he is thankful the party was cancelled because they did not have to make any arrests or deal with anybody that was disorderly or using drugs or carrying weapons illegally. He says they “kept those individuals who are not Dodge County residents out of Dodge County and kept the community safe.”
The reported gang birthday party would have come on the heels of two turbulent evenings at the business in December and February in which police say they were overwhelmed by the criminal activity taking place. Schmidt says there were numerous arrests and citations for weapons, drugs and fighting both inside and outside Pops. Following the February party, four people were shot at a BP gas station on East Washington Street. At the time, Madison police reported that the shooting was the result of continued hostilities that started earlier in the evening at a social gathering in another county.
Pop’s Eatery owner Musa Hajdini says he cannot be responsible for something that happens far away from his business. He says if someone buys a gun at Wal-Mart and shoots someone, nobody blames Wal-Mart. Hajdini says officials are wrongly targeting his patrons because they are black. He says he watched last month as all of the black patrons from his bar were pulled over by police before entering the highway and notes that in all of his recent dealings with city officials they kept referring to his patrons as “those people.” Schmidt says law enforcement in Beaver Dam will not tolerate unlawful behavior and he has statistics and video evidence to back-up what has been going on at Pop’s over the past couple years. The sheriff says it has nothing to do with any other factors that criminal activity.