Bail set at $2.5 million for Montco go-go bar shooter

Posted: October 23, 2013

A 55-year-old man charged with shooting and seriously wounding two managers at a Montgomery County go-go bar after he was asked to leave, and later firing at police, is being held with bail set at $2.5 million.

The charges against Joseph Oesterle Thiers, 55, of Warrington, Bucks County, include attempted murder, aggravated assault, weapons charges, and assault on a law enforcement officer.

The affidavit of probable cause gives the following account:

About 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Thiers was asked to leave Double Visions, on Easton Road in Horsham, but 10 to 15 minutes later was buzzed in at the back entrance of the club by an employee who recognized him as a "semi-regular" patron.

"I'm looking for Phil," Thiers is quoted as saying in the affidavit. He went to the bar, raised a gun, and fired two shots, striking Phil Catagnus, the bartender, in the chest and Jason Catagnus in the back.

The men, who are sons of the owner and manage the establishment, were in stable condition Monday, according to an Abington Memorial Hospital spokesmen.

A woman who answered the phone at the nightclub on Monday said Thiers was asked to leave because he was "too drunk and getting out of hand with the dancers."

More than 20 patrons, employees, and dancers were in the bar at the time, according to the court documents.

After the shots were fired, Thiers left the bar. More shots were heard by patrons who watched Thiers drive off in a Ford F-150 truck.

Police tried to stop the truck, which accelerated to 80 m.p.h. at times before stopping about four miles away. Thiers got out, hid behind a tree, and fired at officers, according to affidavit. He was eventually taken into custody by police.

He was being held at the Montgomery County prison.


mschaefer@phillynews.com

610-313-8111

@MariSchaefer

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