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Police: Man arrested after making threats at Downtown Olly's bar

Posted at 12:59 AM, Feb 27, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS -- A man was arrested Sunday night after police said he made threats against an Indianapolis bar.

The man, who was not armed, was arrested around 11:30 p.m. Sunday night at Downtown Olly's near the intersection of Illinois and 9th streets. 

A witness said the man sat down at the bar and said "Orlando is real and it's about to happen again." The witness said the man was discreet about what he said.

On June 12, 2016, 49 people were killed in a shooting in an Orlando gay nightclub.

"I put on my Facebook page that day that it was the worst day of my life," Dean Coleman, owner of Downtown Olly's, said. "I honestly believe that."

The suspect from Sunday night's incident was identified as Brandon Savage, 27. Police say Savage called police around 11 p.m., saying he was going to "shoot the gay bar up," then have a stand-off with police. He told police his name, but didn't say the location. Officers attempted to track his phone, but lost it somewhere downtown.

"I'm not surprised, because of the tension that's in our country right now," IMPD officer Aaron Hamer said. "There appears to be a lot more labels placed on individuals instead of people being allowed to live their lives."

Downtown Olly's is an LGBT-friendly bar. 

Police say they spoke to multiple witnesses at the bar who confirmed the man's threat.

"Some of the patrons here are friends of mine," Coleman said. "The staff is like family to me. I can't imagine that happening here. ... I can't imagine if anybody had been injured, let alone killed."

A second witness said the man seemed "nervous and jittery." The witness was glad that police worked quickly and cared about the safety of the LGBT community.

The man will likely be charged with attempted robbery. He was released Monday afternoon after a psychological evaluation.

Robbery detectives are still investigating.

Coleman pointed at President Donald Trump for the culture of the threats.

"I think we're going to see more of this," Coleman said. "When the top person in our country promotes hate and division, that's what we're going to see more of. People think that's OK."