Former head of security at Cheers Bar and Grill speaks out

ROSELAND, Ind. - The former security supervisor at Cheers Pub in Roseland is speaking out publicly for the first time about an underage drinking raid and is being blamed for what happened.

Information revealed in a report from the Indiana State Excise Police last month said a bouncer employed by the bar was taking bribes from those underage drinkers trying to get in.

That bouncer, the former head of security says that is simply not true.

“I just want to clear my name really because… it’s like you’re kind of messing with my livelihood at this point,” said Remi Johnson.

Johnson worked security at Cheers Bar and Grill following its remodel last year, up until she was fired following the November raid that led to 70 citations and 50 fake IDs being confiscated.

She shared IDs she confiscated from underage customers personally.

The bar on State Road 933 received more than a dozen complaints involving public intoxication, fraudulent IDs, the illegal consumption alcohol, and alcohol poisoning.

Johnson set the scene of working the door on an average Thursday night, marketed as college night.

She says the bar was understaffed, overcapacity, and she was directed by the owner not to let of age regulars in.

“I don’t want to be at a bar full of no kids. Those kids are ruthless. They’re jumping up on the tables. They’re pouring ketchup on each other... Spitting beer out their mouths…. Throwing beer bottles… like it’s a circus. Nobody wants to deal with that. I didn’t sign up to work at a daycare,” added Johnson.

Johnson says she was also directed by the owner, Steve Mihaljevic, to let in anyone with an ID that said they were over 21, even if it did not get through the already faulty scanners.

The owner has denied these claims and Johnson was the only one to walk away with a citation from the excise police.

“I’m just in shock like how am I the only one that has this,” said Johnson.

Johnson said all she ever did was take orders from her boss, but was named in the report for allegedly taking bribes ranging from $10 to $20 to get in.

"Never ever happened. I’ve never taken money from a student to get in there knowing they were underage. I would never do that,” said Johnson when asked.

She said this was the story the underage drinkers told the police, to avoid getting caught with fake IDs.

Then the owner went along with the story, resulting in Johnson’s termination from Cheers.

“Students started saying well we have IDs and they’re like well. 'How did you get it?', 'Oh well, we bribed the security guard',” Johnson revealed.

The owner told ABC57 in a statement last month, Cheers has a new security team, new ID scanner, and is trying to shift to a more family- oriented business plan that has paid off with zero calls to the police in the past four months.

Johnson, however, said she is still in contact with coworkers who say things have not changed.

ABC57 reached up to the owner of Cheers for comment on Johnson’s claims Friday afternoon but did not hear back.

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