Bartender's Use of Clamato Leads to Shooting

And dog may have saved owner's life
By Alex Tirpack,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2015 10:10 AM CDT
Bartender's Use of Clamato Leads to Shooting
Monte Hanson was upset over a drink order and allegedly shot at bartender Joe Lewis, killing Lewis' dog in the process.   (Shutterstock)

If a bartender messes up an order, leaving without tipping is usually the standard response. But for bar patron Monte Hanson, 59, leaving a poor tip apparently wasn't going to cut it. The AP reports that Hanson apparently became enraged at bartender and neighbor Joe Lewis after Lewis made Hanson's drink—a "red beer"—with Clamato rather than regular tomato juice on Friday night at a Montana bar. Hanson claimed drinking Clamato (a tomato juice/clam broth combo) was against his Jewish faith, and he allegedly told a neighbor he planned on retaliating against Lewis for the mistake. After his shift ended in the wee hours of Saturday, Lewis went home and took his dog outside. That's when Hanson allegedly opened fire on the bartender—striking Lewis once, and killing Lewis' dog, Jackson, in the process.

According to Lewis' brother Mike, the 29-year-old bartender may owe his life to Jackson. Jackson had recently had a toe amputated and was wearing a cast, so Lewis was carrying him when the gunfire erupted. Mike Lewis tells the Montana Standard that Jackson took a bullet right to the head, and had he not been in that spot during the attack, Lewis could have been killed by that shot instead. Lewis is recovering from a non-life-threatening injury sustained by the second bullet. Hanson, meanwhile, is charged with attempted deliberate homicide and animal cruelty. He's currently being held on a $250,000 bond. (More weird crimes stories.)

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