Man pleads guilty to charges from gun-related incident at bar

Willie Days

WATERBURY — A former bank robber pleaded guilty Friday to two felonies stemming from an alcohol-fueled argument in a Naugatuck bar that led him to pull a revolver and fire off a shot after having a couple drinks of vodka on the rocks.

Willie Days, now a 68-year-old real estate salesman, was charged with a list of gun-related crimes after police say he took a shot at another patron in Sullivan’s Cafe on Church Street near closing time on a July morning last summer.

Dressed in a maroon suit with a handkerchief in the breast pocket, Day appeared with his attorney, Ioannis Kaloidis, in Waterbury Superior Court, where he pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree threatening. When he appears back in court for sentencing in March, he’s expected to receive a two-year prison sentence, followed by five years of probation, according to a plea deal worked out with prosecutors.

The gunfire inside the bar followed a petty argument that involved another patron, possibly over eating another patron’s food, a witness told police. A patron had challenged Days to step outside to fight in the parking lot when Days pulled the gun, a Smith & Wesson, .38-caliber revolver, and fired at him while the other man stood in the doorway, a police investigation showed.

The bullet went through the front door of the bar and left spider-web cracks in a nearby window. A bartender would later tell police she served Days two Kettle One vodkas on ice in the hours before the shooting.

Police were nearby when they heard the shot ring out and arrived quickly.

An officer initially patted Days down as he was leaving from the back of the bar, but let him go after not finding any weapons on him. But when the officer learned Days fit the shooter’s description, he caught up to him as Days was backing his Chrysler out of the lot.

Police would eventually find a loaded .38-caliber revolver on a chair in the back of the bar.

Days is a felon with a long record that includes an assault at another bar. Days was arrested in February 2015 in New Haven after he stabbed another man over a $5 pool game debt, according to a media report.

Records show Days was later convicted of second-degree assault in connection with the stabbing. He was given three years of probation, but a judge ended that supervision last year.

Days also has a federal conviction for robbing a bank in 1989 and other crimes, including patronizing a prostitute.