Boystown: Battery charge filed in case that preceded bar’s controversial “NO RAP” policy

Ismael Quinones is charged with simple battery of a customer at Progress Bar. | Google; CPD

Battery charges have been filed against a man in connection with one of at least two incidents that preceded a recent (and brief) banning of rap music by a Boystown bar.

Ismael Quinones, 21, of the South Chicago neighborhood is charged with battering another patron shortly before closing time on May 26th at Progress Bar, 3359 North Halsted.

Prosecutors said Quinones and a 28-year-old man were involved in a fight around 2:45 a.m. when Quinones struck the other man repeatedly in the face with his fists and a drinking glass. CPD closed the bar’s dance floor and a restroom as crime scenes following the incident.

The victim was transported to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for treatment of a cut above his eye. Quinones had lacerations on the fingers of his right hand, but he refused medical treatment, according to police.

Quinones is charged with one count of misdemeanor battery. He was released on a recognizance bond without appearing before a judge. His next court date is July 5th.

Later that same day, another man punched out a plate glass window in a “fit of rage” that was captured on video.

Three days later, on May 29th, Progress owner Justin Romme sent an email to staff in which he “implemented a NO RAP rule effective immediately.”

Images of the email that quickly circulated on social media raised claims of racism and Romme reversed the music policy in less than a day.

“The email…did not reflect the values of Progress Bar,” Romme said in a press release issued on May 30th. “It should have never been written or sent.”

Romme never drew a direct connection between the weekend violence at Progress and his short-lived rap ban, but online commenters drew the relationship for him.

Editors note: CWBChicago’s reporting of Quinones’ arrest was delayed because information received directly from CPD’s press office was incomplete based on information we collected independently. CWBChicago chose to wait until the case’s court records became available to provide more accurate information and a fuller understanding of the allegations made.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is