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Pistol discharged during bar altercation

by Brian Walker
| November 18, 2010 8:00 PM

POST FALLS - A 66-year-old Post Falls man was arrested after the pistol he admitted to police he brandished discharged during an altercation at the Falls Club late Monday.

Gary Louis Coe was later arrested at his home without incident for aggravated battery and transported to Kootenai County jail. No one was injured. Coe has posted a $25,000 bond to be released from jail.

"Coe ... admitted to brandishing the gun during the altercation," according to a police press release. "Coe advised that he retrieved his gun (from his vehicle) when the 49-year-old male victim repeatedly challenged him to fight. Coe advised that the bar owner grabbed the gun and, in his attempts to wrestle it from his hands, the gun discharged."

The owner, Steve De Gon, a former candidate for Post Falls mayor, could not be reached for comment. De Gon had gun powder on one of his arms after the .357 pistol discharged, but was not hurt.

"The pistol was apparently pointed up and away, so, when it discharged, no one was in line (of the gunfire)," Post Falls police Capt. Greg McLean said.

Officers responded to the club at 611 E. Seltice Way for a report of an altercation involving a gun. When they arrived, they were advised that an argument broke out inside the bar between two patrons and continued in the parking lot where De Gon witnessed Coe pointing a gun at the male.

McLean said the confrontation between Coe and the male never became physical. The victim told police he was speaking with a female at the business when Coe and a friend told him to quit.

"According to the victim, they went outside (mutually) to resolve the issue," McLean said.

But Coe told police that he was leaving when the male followed him out to challenge him to a fight.

"They have different stories," McLean said.

De Gon told police that he intervened and grabbed the barrel of the gun. During the struggle for the gun, it discharged. De Gon told officers that Coe fled the scene prior to officers' arrival.

McLean said both Coe and the other male had been drinking, but neither man's blood-alcohol content was taken.

Coe has one previous jail booking. He was arrested in 1995 for aggravated battery.

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