A man who didn't want to pay his $60.46 bar bill at Taco Mex in Maverick Square last month sent a BPD officer to Mass. General after biting him in the arm, police say.
Testifying before the Boston Licensing Board this morning, an A-7 officer said he and other officers were summoned to the restaurant around 5:15 p.m. on March 12 to help convince the man to pay his tab, which he'd accumulated in four and a half hours of beer drinking with three other people.
The officer said the man, who'd quietly refused to pay his bill, became loud and obnoxious when officers arrived. When one officer, speaking to him in Spanish, told him he would be pat frisked, he allegedly slurred: "If I had a gun, I would've shot you, you guys would already be dead."
The officer who testified said that despite the mouthing off, another officer tried to reason with him and make him pay the bill. After several entreaties, however, the man continued to refuse and the officers moved closer to arrest him, he said.
Instead of going quietly, however, the man shoved the officer and the fight was on: Before that officer and the others could get him to the ground, he bit the officer in the right bicep hard enough to break his skin - which eventually meant a trip to Mass. General for the officer to get checked out. Once cuffed and transported to A-7, the man refused to go through the booking process and was placed in a cell to sleep it off, before he was booked the next morning, he said.
Silvia Guzman, the restaurant's attorney, said the man was a Taco Mex regular who had never before caused any problems, had been there for about 4 1/2 hours buying beers for himself and three other people and remained calm when it was time to settle up and for some reason refused.
She said the man never appeared drunk and that she does not know what happened in his interactions with police to set him off.
A BPD sergeant who also responded to the scene, however, said the guy was "extremely intoxicated ... he was very, very drunk."
The licensing board decides Thursday whether the restaurant could have done anything to prevent the incident and, if so, what sort of punishment to levy.