A manager at Tavern in the Square in Allston had to explain to the Boston Licensing Board today why nobody at the Brighton Avenue bar called police after a patron had a beer bottle thrown at his head and another was tossed to the sidewalk outside and kicked by bouncers on March 16.
That's because none of it happened, manager Patrick Dylan told board members at a hearing today.
On Thursday, the board has to decide which story to believe and what, if anything to do about it.
A police detective and a man who said he was a member of a group attacked by both fellow patrons and bouncers told the board a fight broke out around 1:30 a.m. after the man accidentally bumped into another customer at the bar. The man said he apologized and thought that was the end of it - until the bumped guy returned with some friends. He said bouncers were in the process of ejecting him and his friends when one of their attackers lobbed a beer bottle at his group. He said the bottle connected with the face of his friend, opening up a gash that ultimately required nine stitches to close.
He continued that bouncers picked him up by all fours, tossed him to the ground outside, then kicked him a few times for good measure. He said at that point, he and his group decided they had to get their bleeding companion to the hospital right away, rather than calling 911 and staying around. He added he called Tavern in the Square the next morning to tell them he intended to complain to police, which he then did.
Dylan said he was in the bar that morning and while he didn't see the initial argument said he is convinced no beer bottle was thrown, no punches or kicks launched by his bouncers. When he got outside, he said, the alleged victims were screaming at bouncers demanding to be let back in.
"Nobody was bleeding," he said. "Nobody was visibly injured."
Afterwards, he said, his staff told him the alleged victims were the ones who were the "more aggressive" half of the argument and denied picking up, throwing or kicking anybody.
Although the bar has a video surveillance system that might have shown what happened, by the time police requested the video, the system had already overwritten it. A detective said he first talked to the bar on March 27 - the video system is on a three-day loop.
Board member Nicole Murati Ferrer told Dylan she was amazed that the assistant manager who talked to one of the alleged victims the next morning did not immediately make a copy of the video from earlier that days, if only to protect the bar. "You guys get sued all the time," she said. Dylan said he could not say why the assistant manager didn't save the video, but added that, going forward, all management staff at the bar have been instructed to save video when there's even the slightest chance it could be needed.
Last month, the board ordered the bar to shut for one day for failing to call police about a fight in January.