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Y Bar & Bistro owner charged with serving alcohol to minors

Y Bar & Bistro in Kalamazoo
Posted at 10:05 AM, Jun 10, 2021

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Kalamazoo investigators said they have found no evidence of drink drugging or tampering at Y Bar & Bistro in Kalamazoo following accusations from more than a dozen women.

Co-owner Jon Rockwood and a bartender at Y Bar & Bistro have both been charged with four counts of furnishing drinks to a minor which Kalamazoo police said is a misdemeanor.

In a TikTok video posted on June 9, one of the alleged victims speaks out against the decision.

@gracevanoverberghe

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♬ original sound - Grace Van Overberghe

"Just a little follow-up about the situation in which my friends and I were drugged at the Kalamazoo bar," said one of the alleged victims, Grace.

Y Bar & Bistro is no longer being investigated by the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS).

"We have not found anything to substantiate that there was tampering with the drinks. We had no evidence to move forward with the charges with that," said Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Deputy Chief David Boysen.

READ MORE: Police confirm multiple allegations against Y Bar & Bistro

This decision comes after KDPS investigators conducted interviews, combed through hours of surveillance video and searched the bar. While they found nothing there, they were able to submit other charges.

"We were able to obtain charges for several counts on furnishing alcohol to minors to both the bar owner, Jon Rockwood and the bartender," said Boysen.

"The investigation is closed and nothing happened. We’ve been contacting our detectives and police and have literally never heard anything back since our initial report," said Grace.

Grace and her friend Abigail were two college students who made a TikTok video back in April that went viral. It alleged Rockwood of tampering with and drugging theirs and 14 other friends' drinks.

@gracevanoverberghe

PLEASE SHARE THIS EVERYWHERE YOU CAN ##greenscreen

♬ original sound - Grace Van Overberghe

According to reports Fox 17 News obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, after that day, several other women also came forward telling investigators with KDPS they believed they were drugged as well. All names were redacted for privacy.

READ MORE: Police reports detail multiple women's allegations against Y Bar & Bistro

"It is the job of law enforcement to do a thorough investigation whenever anybody comes forward claiming they have been a victim of a crime. The police are supposed to investigate," said Levine & Levine Criminal Defense Attorney Sarissa Montague.

Criminal Defense Attorney Sarissa Montague said this case and others like it are all based on the evidence presented to the prosecutor's office to ensure there is proof beyond reasonable doubt the person being accused committed a crime.

"I think that many times and I will say in this case, I commend the prosecutor’s office for reviewing the information and making sure that the person who or people who are being accused of this offense are not just being slandered," said Montague.

"These cases are hard to prove and so unfortunately the way this turned out, by the time we were notified by the victims, there was no evidence that we could obtain from them to further the case," said Boysen.

Grace said it's disheartening and feels like they weren't heard.

"I am truly so, so sorry to anyone who came forward and were not believed. This is why it is hard for men and women to come forward about assault because nothing ever happens," said Grace.

Fox 17 News also reached out to Jon Rockwood for comment but did not hear back.

READ MORE: Kalamazoo bar co-owner calls drink tampering accusations 'completely false' in new video