The Boston Licensing Board decides Thursday what to do about a one-punch fight at Lincoln Bar and Grill - the former Hogan's Run - on Lincoln Street in Brighton.
A patron who says he objected to the way a couple of other patrons were harshing on an "elderly" gentleman on the evening of Jan. 18 spoke up - and promptly got punched to the ground - bar owner Francis Thomas, a bartender and police agree.
What happened next - and why the guy got punched in the face - however, proved subject to interpretation.
The man's account, as recited by a BPD detective, was that he was knocked unconscious and that he awoke to find the other two men kicking him right before his wife managed to drag him outside. But the bartender on duty at the time said, um, not quite.
"He was never unconscious on the ground," she told the board. "He was punched in the face, he got knocked down, but he got right up, bleeding. ... Nobody kicked him."
She continued that the man he left of his own accord after both he and his wife refused an offer to call 911.
The bartender said she has learned from the experience. She told the board she now knows she should have called 911 herself after witnessing the face punching and the bleeding.
Thomas then introduced as a witness the "elderly" man, who, despite some gray hair, does not consider himself anywhere near elderly. And he said the guy who got punched should take something away from the whole thing as well: To keep his nose out of other people's business.
He said there was nobody mistreating him before the fight. In fact, he said, he knew one of the two guys because they work together. If words got heated, it was "just a barroom discussion" and it was over before his putative champion tried to come to his supposed aid, he said.
"The fellow went out of his way to get in (the puncher's) face," he said. "There was no reason for him to get in anybody's face ... In no way, shape or form was he involved in the discussion."