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Hell hath no fury like a drunken woman who has to pee

A fight that started with one patron at Rumor cutting in front of another to get into the women's room on Feb. 10 spiraled into a roving brawl across Stuart Street that left one woman with a sliced forehead, another punched repeatedly in the face and a third with a fingernail ripped completely off.

Before the melee was over, police from as far away as Charlestown were responding to quell the violence and arrest people who simply refused to stop fighting even when ordered to by men in uniforms with guns.

Oh, yes, and there was also underage drinking by college students let in by a doorman on the take - whose friendliness toward the pre-21 crowd had become so well known BU police tipped off Boston police that night.

The Boston Licensing Board will decide on Thursday what to do about a series of incidents at the Warrenton Street club. Potential penalties could range from revocation of the club license (Ed. note: Unlikely) to simply "filing" the complaints in a file somewhere. However, board Chairman Daniel Pokaski warned that if the board suspects the club has become a place to go "for a beer and a beating, we're going to stop it."

Police and club officials said the early-Wednesday melee started with a group of 10-15 friends. When one of the women in the group cut in front of the waiting masses at the women's room, her friend objected. They started arguing. The put-out woman gave up and started up the stairs - when her friend ran up to her and smacked her in the forehead with her shoe. The sliced-up woman, with blood streaming down her face, ran upstairs, where the fighting continued, despite the presence of 26 club bouncers and at least one Boston police officer on detail.

Club officials say they tried to break things up - but the battlin' betties kept at it, eventually spilling out into the street, where police found three woman punching and scratching each other in front of the New England School of Law and more outside the W Hotel. Police say one of the women by the law school simply ignored police and kept jumping into the fray, at least, until officers managed to get her on the ground and in handcuffs.

The club's head of security told the licensing board breaking up fights among women is particularly difficult for his largely male staff because women tend to object to men grabbing them.

"It becomes very difficult restraining them," he said. "You put your hands on a girl, there might be serious consequences." He said the club is looking to recruit more female bouncers.

Separately, but earlier that evening, Boston Police detectives, responding to a tip from BU police, found three underaged Babson students, one male and two female, in the bar. "I got an odor of alcohol off the breath of the females," Det. Kevin McGill told the board, adding that when he asked them how they had gotten in, they told him "they had friends at the door."

Tom Montgomery, owner of the club, said it turned out one of the doormen was supplementing his income by letting in people without proof of age. "The employee was a trusted employee, we relied on him to do the right thing," he said.

The club now employs a camera system to check up on doormen. Montgomery said he personally checks IDs of people he thinks are too young, but "they all look young to me" and he's never actually found an underage drinker that way. Roving bouncers also check IDs on the club floor.

But Pokaski said Montgomery has to do more. If the club has such a reputation that police at Boston University know it's letting in the pre-21 set, there's a serious problem, he said. "Come on, come on, come on."

The board also heard a report on a third incident that night, involving a man who claimed he was stabbed in the club lobby. However, board members indicated they were inclined to believe that, while the man may have been stabbed, it wasn't at Rumor. After his initial report, the man refused to cooperate with police. Also, his initial story, about getting stabbed and then having two unknown women drive him to Boston Medical Center was suspect because the club is right near Tufts Medical Center and there were several police cruisers and at least two ambulances on the scene because of the earlier brawling.


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