SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Inner Circle Vodka Bar in downtown Springfield says it is ramping up security measures after allegations of women being drugged at the bar.
Cora Scott, a spokesperson for the Springfield Police Department, confirmed that more than one person filed a police report this week related to possibly being given a date rape drug at the downtown Springfield bar.
“I can confirm we have had a couple of reports for that address but this is under investigation and that’s all we can provide at this time,” Scott said.
In a private Facebook group, multiple women have been recounting instances of going to the bar, then blacking out and not remembering what happened after one or two drinks. As of 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, more than 100 people had signed a change.org petition to shut down the bar on Walnut Street.
Inner Circle’s owners responded on the business’s Facebook page on Wednesday saying they are aware of the allegations and taking steps to promote safety at the bar.
In an interview with KOLR10 on Thursday, the owners said they do not believe any of their staff members are involved in drugging patrons.
The owners said they are considering steps like adding lids to cups to help keep patrons safe.
They also are asking all potential victims to come forward so they can review security tapes from the days in question.
“It can be an issue everywhere,” said Jacob Harper, one of the owners of Inner Circle. “And has been an issue everywhere, not just in Springfield. When you have that many people under one roof, you know, unfortunately, there are people that take advantage of that situation. We are continuously looking at footage to see if we can find suspects and we, you know, outside of that, we are confident with our own team ourselves just because of how we train them.”
You can read the full statement below from Inner Circle’s Facebook page.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: We at Inner Circle want to speak directly to you – our friends, patrons and loyal customers – by addressing recent concerns expressed on social media. We have always strived to make our bar not only fun, but also safe and inclusive. Having a drink spiked at a bar and even the threat of it is something that is incredibly scary and can lead to worse things. We understand why it is concerning to people making posts and is very concerning to us at Inner Circle.
Upon learning of these concerns, we immediately took these actions:
– Increased security at the bar
– Our owners have come in every weekend to monitor the safety of our guests and staff
– Began the process of third-party training and identifying preventative measures to implement on an ongoing basis
To further ensure the safety of you, our guests, we need your help! We encourage you to reach out directly to me, Andy Cagle at firstname.lastname@example.org, with specifics (dates, times, witnesses, etc.) so we can proactively use our security footage to identify perpetrators – this is a safe space for sharing. At this time we have not had anyone who has been affected contact us directly with this information. We are confident in our bartending team based on regular monitoring, but if there is an incident that has involved a bartender specifically please message us immediately. Together, we can work on making the bar feel safe for anyone who wants to be part of our Inner Circle.Andy, Jacob, and Nicole