Brighton bar owner admits trying to keep police from finding out how patron wound up near death in a parking lot

John Rogaris, 45, got a suspended jail sentence yesterday after acknowledging he actively tried to keep police from learning how he had workers take a man who'd fallen down the stairs in his Chestnut Hill Avenue bar and dump him outside, where he lay, unconscious and near death, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Peter Krupp gave Rogaris a two-year suspended jail term for the May, 2014 incident at Roggie's on charges of withholding evidence during the course of a criminal investigation, witness intimidation, and two counts of misleading an investigator, the DA's office reports, adding prosecutors had asked for a 2-3 year prison sentence.

Rather than calling 911 when the critically injured patron was discovered, employees moved the man outside and placed him in a parking lot – a move that prosecutors said was undertaken at Rogaris’ direction.

A passerby discovered the man on the ground and called for emergency assistance. The man was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital with life-threatening head injuries.

During the course of their investigation, Boston Police sought surveillance video from cameras inside and outside Roggie’s. Rogaris on two occasions lied to officers, insisting that no video existed and concealed video DVRs, the evidence showed. Ultimately, Boston Police obtained a search warrant and discovered video that showed a body being moved out of the establishment.

After police recovered the video evidence, Rogaris contacted a witness and offered to “take care” of the witness and his family financially if the witness took the blame for the incident.

Rogaris sold the bar's liquor license to two brothers who plan to open a pizza place at the location.

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Comments

I know times are tough

But can you imagine being paid $10 - $12 an hour to move an unconscious person? Hey, Charlie Baker, maybe consider something like this when you say that Boston should have a cap on liquor licenses.

If we didn't have a cap, we'd have more bars, and these doorguys could work for somebody who doesn't ask them to potentially physical harm an unconscious man in need of medical attention. Caps are how licenses end up in the hands of people like John Rogaris.

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What?

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Police and fire don't make more than $12/hour? You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

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i never said

that they don't make more than $12 an hour. you did. i said that it probably wasnt much more than that.

if you're going to come at me for something i say, actually quote me, don't paraphrase it and change the meaning.

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it was pointed out to me

that he still owns the building, and also if you look at the link in my other post- it seems like the liquor license was transferred to a possible (same last name) relative of his

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The liquor licensing board

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Causes these problems, by investigating every teeny incident in bars suspending the licenses of bars for things that are often out of their control.

If he'd handled this situation properly- which ethically he should have- he would have been faced with lawyer's bills for hearings where they interrogated him and threatened punishment for even the tiniest bit of culpability (like not predicting that the person had medical issues, was an all-around dbag, etc., at the door.)

Stop punishing bars for run of the mill incidents, and they'll have less incentive to act stupid (unless of course, their negligence caused the situation. In which case, they'll continue to act stupid as a cover up.)

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This would have me ROFL if it weren't so sad

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Seriously? You're blaming the licensing board for the depraved actions of a loser who would order his workers to dump a half-dead guy out back? A guy who, it might be noted, fell down some stairs inside the bar, which would have made for a hell of a liability lawsuit (like, say, this one involving a man who died falling down the stairs at another bar). And the only reason he got caught trying to erase any evidence on his own surveillance system is because he was afraid of having to spend 15 minutes explaining to the licensing board what happened?

Given its location, that bar should've been a goldmine, producing more than enough revenue to keep some of the city's finer licensing attorneys on retainer to deal with pesky licensing hearings, even if he didn't give one shit about the condition of one of his customers.

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Especially passionate comment from you, Adam

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We don't see you cursing much here! I entirely agree with the outrage, though. The defendant is very lucky this guy didn't die. Personally, I think he should have at least some time in jail, followed by the probation. Absolutely disgusting conduct.

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The post above is describing

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The post above is describing a well-known social phenomenon typically known as a "unintended consequence"or "perverse incentive" of stupid laws, and it is correct.

This is why for example many states have now changed the law so people in the presence of someone ODing on drugs cannot be prosecuted or arrested if they call 9-1-1 to help the person ODing. Here is New Hampshire's which we just got passed. What would you rather have, a society where everyone gets prosecuted for every penny-ante crime - and it encourages more people to get hurt? - or where on occasion lawbreakers get away with it if it means saving people's lives?

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If you're running an unsafe establishment, you shouldn't be open

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There are two things that snag places that I find kind of dumb.

On is getting caught for having expired permits on their walls. In 2015, you'd think BPD could equip the officers of the licensing unit with computers with which to check compliance or payment (since ISD is often late returning their permits) rather than citing establishments because it's 12:50 a.m. and some poor bartender doesn't know where the owner left the photocopy of the check that proves he really paid to renew his annual permit but it just hasn't arrived yet.

The other is not serving food even if you have a food-serving license. Unlike liquor licenses, food licenses are not limited in number. And the only places ever cited for this are bars where nobody wants to eat, anyway.

There are some things that we could quibble about: It's against the law in Massachusetts to carry an open container of alcohol. On Tuesday, a bar and a couple of liquor stores were cited for letting customers drink on the sidewalk. That's state law, though, and I'm not sure you want to ask a cop to start deciding not to enforce state law.

But as somebody who has been covering licensing-board hearings for years now, I can tell you most of the citations (which carry no punishment by themselves; the license board decides that) are for more serious things, such as injury-producing fights, exit doors bolted shut and other hazards (such as the waterfront roof decks from which people keep jumping into the harbor). Me? I'm glad we live in a city that checks for locked fire exits (Google Rand Paul Coconut Grove) and the like.

That places with liquor licenses are subject to random inspections and citations is hardly new. When managers of such places go before the licensing board to be approved, they are basically only asked four things: If they're a US citizen, if they're a Massachusetts resident, if they have experience in the food and business industry and (here comes the key part) if they're familiar with the rules and regulations of the licensing board, the ABCC and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts regarding the sale and service of alcohol.

There are large numbers of bars and restaurants that somehow manage to avoid citations. Somebody who is willing to order workers to dump an unconscious man out in a parking lot - and then try to cover it up - is not a victim of penny-ante inspections run amok. He's a man with a lot of problems who shouldn't be anywhere near other human beings.

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awesome, thanks

Yeah I had no idea that the dude died, I feel as though that offers more questions than answers

it is a mystery

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i dont honestly know

i asked somebody else on a different site a question about this situation and they provided me with that. the only way that i could suggest finding that out would be to cross reference the license number with transactions of that license i guess, but i know nothing about it which is why i brought it here

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There's special place in hell

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There's special place in hell for someone who would move an injured person, particularly to dump him in an alley to disavow any responsibility. Even if he wasn't injured but "just" blackout drunk, what an awful thing to (get someone else to) do.

He got off way too easy. He should be banned from having any relationship to the industry.

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His ass is grass

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His ass is grass
He will be sued in civil court and all of his property and assets will be transferred to the man he had dumped on the sidewalk. Hope the injured guy is ok.

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