H·MAC Public Statement Regarding Midtown Sexual Assault

Harrisburg police have reported that a woman was sexually assaulted approximately two hours after leaving H·MAC on Friday, July 13th. The woman made an initial post on Facebook about the incident that included accusations against H·MAC. The woman has since removed her post, but screenshots were shared on various Facebook pages and news outlets.

Naturally we have a great deal of compassion and sympathy for the victim and are acutely aware of the terrible consequences of sexual assault. We have been working closely on a regular basis with the Police to apprehend the perpetrator responsible for these crimes and to permanently take people like this off the streets of our city.

While this is an ongoing investigation, we can state that the following events occurred on Friday, July 13th, which are confirmed by video surveillance and witness testimony.

The victim was at H·MAC however, the victim was not kicked out by H·MAC staff. The victim was outside of H·MAC at 2 AM with a friend and a male individual. An H·MAC staff member was chatting with them while locking up until about 2:30 AM. The staff member escorted the victim, her friend and the male individual to the location of her friend’s car on 3rd and Boas Street. From there, the staff member said goodnight and parted ways. The staff member had no prior relationship to the women or the male individual. According to police, the assault occurred around 4 AM at an undisclosed location in Uptown Harrisburg.

For more information pertaining to this incident click the following news links below:

7/21/18 – PennLive – Police investigate report of sexual assault of woman after night at midtown bar

7/23/18 – PennLive – Police investigating sexual assault say they haven’t received reports of similar attacks

7/24/18 – PennLive – In wake of drugging accusations, Harrisburg bar announces new policies/a>

7/23/18 – ABC 27

H·MAC takes the security and safety of its patrons very seriously. H·MAC has made significant investments into the facility and has gone through a complete renovation and expansion during 2014 through 2015. We have installed over 26 surveillance cameras in and around the building. Our atmosphere and environment have been significantly changed since our early days. The safety and welfare of our patrons is of upmost importance to us and will remain our priority as we work through these matters with the victim and the police. Our space is a safe space where our guests are everything to us.

Effective immediately, H·MAC is implementing similar policies to those of Seattle bar- Over at Chop Suey. We will have readily available test strips located behind the bar specifically testing for date rape drugs. Patrons using the test strips can identify if drugs have been slipped into their drink by placing the strip into their drink, waiting a minute, and if the strip turns dark blue then it is positive.

Patrons with positive strips are requested to turn the drink over immediately to the bartender and explain the exact situation that occurred- i.e. if a stranger bought your drink, and it tests positive it will allow us to take proactive measures against the perpetrator. This allows patrons to better look out for themselves, because it can be tough for our staff to be checking in on every individual’s wellbeing at all times.

All drinks that are left unattended will be bussed and thrown out-even after a few minutes. This is the best way to ensure the safety of what you are consuming.

We will not tolerate sexual harassment, assault or aggression in any form at H·MAC. We will always put the safety of our patrons and employees first. We will actively encourage, support and protect any member of the community who comes forward with information or allegations about misconduct. We will strive to prevent harm and create a community that is aware of and sensitive to the issues of sexual harassment and assault, where all patrons and employees can enjoy themselves.

We feel terrible for what happened to this woman. We realize we have made missteps in handling this situation, but we do sincerely care about the victim, bringing her attacker to justice, preventing future incidents and making Harrisburg overall a safer city and community.

Thank you all, as always, for the honest and candid feedback. We hear you. We’re listening. We appreciate you. We count on you. And to our many friends in the community, now is the time when we humbly ask for your support and guidance.

We would like to assure our customers and the community that we are taking the allegations made very seriously. We have been reading your responses and are encouraging everyone to provide us with additional suggestions on how we can move forward and make H·MAC the safe place it is intended to be. If you have suggestions on how we can improve the safety and security of H·MAC, please follow the link and fill out our anonymous Suggestion Form.