And Caffe Vittoria in turn has the Boston Licensing Board steaming over the way one of its owners snapped at a beat cop and sergeant who told him to get three chairs away from a hydrant in front of the Hanover Street establishment.
The board decides Thursday what action, if any, to take for Oct. 3 incidents involving David Riccio, who owns the cafe with his brother Gerald.
Police say that over the summer, they received numerous complaints from residents and tourists about chairs, benches, pedicabs and motorcycles blocking spaces along the congested street.
Around 10 p.m. on Oct. 3, a beat cop noticed three chairs in the street blocking a hydrant. The officer told the board this morning he approached David Riccio from behind and told him to move the chairs. Riccio, he said, ignored him. He repeated his demand. Riccio, he said, told him he was being "a fool."
The cop then came in front of him and told him again to move the chairs, that they were a safety hazard and a potential license violation for the cafe. Riccio, he said, picked up one of the chairs in a threatening manner, muttered something, then put the chairs on the sidewalk. And then called the cop a fool again and said everybody was laughing at him.
The cop radioed for help from Sgt. Paul Brooks, who told the board he arrived and tried to impress on Riccio the need to keep the hydrant free. "I was met with a little chuckle," Brooks said.
David Riccio did not attend the hearing, but his brother Gerald, who did, seemed perplexed why the cafe was cited. It's not Caffe Vittoria's problem that his brother - who lives behind the cafe - and the cop, can't stand each other. And, he continued, "All he wants to do is smoke a cigar and sit on the street."
"I'm completely appalled with the lack of respect for the police officers," board Chairwoman Nicole Murati Ferrer told him.
David Riccio is listed as a 49% owner of Caffe Vittoria and the cafe has a responsibility to keep the area in front of its door clear, she said.
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