Warren Mustaccio's family has been running the St. Agrippina di Mineo feast on the North End for 103 years. Never, he says, has he seen anything like the night of Aug. 4, when a "flash mob" organized on social media brought hundreds of teenagers from northern suburbs into the North End, many with backpacks filled with alcohol.
"It looked like Fenway Park getting out," Mustacchio said. "I've never seen so many kids." And the kids were feeling their oats, he said - throwing punches at cops and doing their best to evade society members trying to hold them down for police. "It was just a crazy, crazy night."
Mustacchio spoke at a Boston Licensing Board hearing this morning, where he had to explain how a 19-year-old Bentley University student managed to use a fake South Carolina ID to get into the feast beer garden and buy a sangria.
Mustacchio acknowledged the society's 90 volunteers, some of whom normally would keep a close watch on the beer-garden entrance, were distracted with the younger kids, who just kept coming down Hanover, he said. "We were walking out like 30 kids at a time" and then another 100 would show up, he said.
"There were roving bands," Sgt. Det. Robert Mulvey said. "They were young punks ... There was an invasion of them." He said he personally confiscated a 40-oz Bud bottle from some kid sauntering down Hanover.
The Bentley student "wasn't part of this group, she was just a college student," Mulvey added.
Boston and State Police eventually flooded the neighborhood and forced the society to shut down early.
Mustacchio said he's run the beer garden for 20 years without a problem. He said he's since bought a scanner to check IDs. After that night, BPD sent in extra officers to patrol the feasts and prevent recurrences.
The licensing board decides Thursday what action, if any, to take, but after hearing how the citation came in the midst of the chaos of the night, board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini indicated she didn't think Mustacchio had anything to worry about.