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Published: Thursday, 10/15/2009

Poker game in West Toledo bar ends with gunshot

Hicks Hicks

A heated poker game at a West Toledo bar led to a pistol shot that grazed the bouncer's arm, police said.

It was the second bar shooting in the city in a week.

Billy Joe Hicks, 33, of 12 East Park St. was arrested after he allegedly got into a quarrel with patrons at Malibu's, 2045 West Alexis Rd., just before midnight Tuesday and fired a shot at the floor, police said.

He was charged with felonious assault and was being held in the Lucas County jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.

During the quarreling, Thomas Phillips, 25, who works at Malibu's, approached him and said he was going to have to leave because the situation was escalating.

Police said Mr. Hicks got up, drew a gun, and fired a shot into the floor.

He fled and was arrested moments later in a parking lot of a sports bar across the street.

While talking to police, Mr. Phillips noticed an injury to his right forearm that was likely from a ricocheting bullet.

The incident in the West Alexis tavern occurred five days after a shootout at the Route 66 Kitchen that received national attention.

Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner has called for the closing of Route 66, 406 North Westwood Ave., after police said at least 20 shots were fired in a gun battle just before midnight on Thursday.

The gunfight was captured on the bar's video surveillance system.

Police are beginning to identify those involved, but have made no arrests in that incident.

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