Bar fight in Harvard started over pool game, prosecutors say; man held after allegedly slashing patron in face

Defendant was on pretrial release for earlier battery charge, authorities said

A man was stabbed in the face inside the Front Street Tap in Harvard in the early hours of Friday morning, Harvard Police reports.

A Poplar Grove man has been charged after another man’s face was slashed during an altercation in a Harvard bar Friday morning, according to the Harvard Police Department and McHenry County prosecutors.

Police said they responded to a call at 1:11 a.m. Friday of a disturbance at Front Street Tap, 106 E. Front St. It originally was reported that two men were fighting and one was “stabbed in the face with a knife,” according to a Harvard Police Department news release.

Michael A. Schallmoser, 35, of the 2200 block of Candlewick Drive, Poplar Grove, was arrested in the altercation and charged with aggravated battery in a public place, with a deadly weapon and causing great bodily harm.

Prosecutors said later Friday that the altercation apparently began over a game of pool and resulted in a 6-inch slash on the man’s cheek.

Upon arrival, officers found two men actively fighting inside the bar. When police separated the two men, they said they found one man with a “severe laceration to his face” who was taken to Javon Bea Hospital – Riverside by the Harvard Fire Protection District.

The second man had “superficial facial injuries” and was taken to Mercy Harvard Hospital by the Marengo Fire Protection District, according to the release.

Both men have been treated at and released from the hospitals, according to the release.

Police said that Michael A. Schallmoser, 35, of the 2200 block of Candlewick Drive, Poplar Grove, was arrested in the altercation and charged with aggravated battery in a public place with a deadly weapon and causing great bodily harm.

Schallmoser appeared later Friday in a McHenry County courtroom, where Judge Michael Chmiel ordered the defendant to be held in jail while awaiting trial.

Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Miller sought to keep Schallmoser in custody, arguing that he’s “a loose cannon who has committed violent acts against numerous people throughout his life.”

The prosecutor said that at the time of Schallmoser’s arrest Friday, he was on pretrial release on a case out of Boone County. Online court records for Boone County show that Schallmoser has a pending case there involving misdemeanor charges of battery and disorderly conduct.

Miller said Schallmoser also was convicted of domestic battery in 2012 and received probation in that case. In 2016, Miller said, Schallmoser was charged with aggravated domestic battery involving attempted “strangulation.”

He pleaded guilty in that case in 2018, served five years in prison and was released last year, the prosecutor said.

Harvard police said a parole violation warrant also was issued for Schallmoser by the Illinois Department of Corrections after his arrest Friday.

Schallmoser’s public defender, Michael Zasadil, argued for pretrial release, saying that his client is a long-standing resident of Poplar Grove, lives with his mother and has a job at a hardware store in Harvard.

Zasadil also said the man whose face was slashed had lurched at Schallmoser during the altercation.

But the judge said that he had heard clear evidence to support the decision to detain Schallmoser, and that, based on the defendant’s record, he’s “someone who should know better.”

The Harvard Police Department was assisted by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and the Woodstock Police Department, according to the release.