Police arrested three men, a large TV got smashed and a bouncer had to use a chair as a shield against other chairs being thrown his way when a fight between fans of rival soccer teams at La Terraza, 19 Bennington St., escalated early on May 19, police and restaurant workers testified today.
A bouncer testified that around 1:50 a.m., after the restaurant turned up the lights to signal closing time, a group of supporters of one of the teams playing on a wall-mounted TV began yelling at a supporter of the other team, then "started throwing objects at him." He said that as he moved in to try to break things up, the fans began picking up and throwing chairs and tables - many targeted at him.
By the time police arrived a few minutes later, in response to a call from La Terraza, the 25 or so patrons had spilled outside and were continuing to fight after leaving the restaurant a shambles and the $1,000 TV destroyed. Smashed shot glasses littered the floor.
On seeing the blue lights, the combatants began to flee, but police managed to catch one on the run on Marion Street and two others who were still in front of La Terraza, BPD officer Michael Mattera said.
The bouncer and La Terraza attorney Michael Ford said the restaurant has never had problems with soccer fans before. "This was totally unforeseeable," Ford said.
The board considers what action, if any, to take, at a meeting on Thursday. However, board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini told Ford and La Terraza owners, "I think you did everything you could do."