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Man who jumped off restaurant deck into Boston Harbor lucky to be alive, police say

The deck from which man leaped into Boston Harbbor

Man took serious leap of faith from this roof last month.

UPDATE: Board rules no violation.

A Brighton man who celebrated his 24th birthday last month by taking a leap into Boston Harbor from the top of Legal Harborside on Northern Avenue got the restaurant hauled before the Boston Licensing Board today to explain how it will keep that from happening again.

Sgt. Det. Kenneth O'Brien of District C-6 told the board the man made the jump around 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 1 on a dare from friends helping him celebrate his birthday. He slipped out of his sandals before throwing himself off the deck, Legal attorney Richard Heller added.

O'Brien noted the rooftop deck is 35-40 feet above the water - and that the guy also had to make it over a boardwalk that extends 15 feet out from the restaurant.

"I don't know how this man was not killed," O'Brien marveled, adding the guy was fine when he got out of the water. He was also promptly arrested by patrolling state troopers, who proved less amused at the stunt than his friends.

Heller said the man, at least, was not drunk: He'd had four drinks - but over a 5 1/2-hour period as he and his friends celebrated. "There was no evidence of intoxication," he said.

Heller said this is the first time in the restaurant's five-year history anybody has ever tried this and that it happened so quickly it's unlikely he could've been stopped.

Heller said that Legal Harborside already had four security guards on the deck. As a result of the jump, one of them is now permanently based right at the harbor side of the deck, with a clear view to the other side.

In years past, Seaport visitors seeking a refreshing nightcap were more drawn to the decks of Whiskey Priest and the Atlantic Beer Garden.

The board decides Thursday what action, if any, to take about the incident.

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Comments

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ridiculous licensing board overreaction. Yes, the guy was stupid for doing this, but he wasn't showing any signs of being intoxicated (and was proven not to be after the fact), wasn't causing any problems prior to doing this, wasn't over served, wasn't underage, etc. Even if a staff member saw and tried to stop him, said staff member simply may have physically been too far away. How is it their fault? I could see if this was a regular problem there, but that's not even the case.

Can't wait to see the result of this one...

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to have your restaurant guests/patrons take flying leaps off of your establishment's roof deck into the harbor. And therein lies the issue and why the restaurant had to answer to the Board.

No overreaction on the part of the licensing board whatsoever.

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If I'm walking down the sidewalk one day, and decide, "Hey what the hell, I'm jumping on the hood of this cop car!" before the police can stop me, do the city and BPD have some explaining to do?

There should probably be a step between incident and licensing board hearing somewhere in there.

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Maybe if the cop car had a license to sell alcohol, you'd be right.

There are a host of public-safety issues involved with restaurants, especially in a city known for the worst nightclub fire in US history (another hearing I sat in/through today but haven't yet written up involves a Dorchester restaurant that was not just stockpiling beer it shouldn't have because it doesn't have a liquor license, but was stacking the cases in front of AND behind an emergency exit, making it impossible to use it in, well, an emergency).

Yes, Legal had to send its senior vice president/general counsel down to City Hall, and that costs some money, but in the greater scheme of things, it's still kind of nice to live in a city that actually does think about public-safety and public-health issues.

Beyond holding the hearing, the board hasn't actually done anything yet. They'll decide on Thursday whether there was anything Legal could have done. If yes, they could get a warning or a license suspension. If no, then the case is closed. Let's wait until then to blast the board, which, yes, does make a distinction between cases where they restaurant owner couldn't have prevented X and cases where they could have, but didn't.

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agree with you that there is a need for the board and hearings, and situations like the one you described are not good for anyone.

But at the same time, I do feel like they could stand to have a step between the incident and hearing in some situations, and that would save a lot of time, effort, and money. This would be one of them.

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There should certainly be a step between the incident and the hearing to determine whether or not you need to bring a licensed establishment before the Board. If there is enough of a dialogue between the Police/Board and the establishment they can make a phone call and if it's 1) a serious violation 2) a repeat offense 3) if they feel he establishment is ducking the truth, THEN call them down to a hearing. This is how Cambridge does it, yes Cambridge is a smaller city but it doesn't make sense to bring every violation to the board. Arrest and prosecute the offender if needed.

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No, it's not usual for customers to take leaps off the balcony.

It's also unusual for a customer to have an epileptic seizure in the middle of a restaurant, or get into a shouting match with their spouse, or any other host of issues. What anyone thus far has failed to explain is how or why a bar's victualler/alcohol license must be scrutinized for (any?) every unusual occurrence on the premises (or in this case, off).

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This isn't an irregular occurrence. Most of the time they have the wisdom to jump from the lower deck, though.

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this:

this is the first time in the restaurant's five-year history anybody has ever tried this and that it happened so quickly it's unlikely he could've been stopped.

If it is indeed a regular occurrence, that's a different story.

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Going off the top might be a first, but a friend of mine watched a guy go off the bottom deck last month (and posted hilarious pictures), so...

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actually their responsibility? The outdoor seating in the back is stanchioned off and the dock part looks like it's a public walkway. It's still entirely possible that they're responsible for that area, but not a given. Not that it would probably matter anyway (See: The place in Chinatown that got in hot water for failing to police the street for the police.)

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Yeah, they were referring to the top deck specifically.

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Legal deserves a 1 day suspension and a fine....the heck with personal responsibility. Maybe they should close the roofdeck? Not allow drinking on the roof? Give IQ tests to everyone before allowing access to the deck?

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Legal's really dropped the ball here by not having a sign on their deck saying "NO JUMPING FROM THIS ROOF DECK TO FALL 40 FEET INTO THE HARBOR". I mean come on it's clear as day the guy wouldn't have done it if there were a sign.

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Clearly businesses need to stop allowing members of the public into their establishments. It only leads to trouble, as case after case before the board has shown.

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David Lee Roth once said he jumped out of a window because he thought he could fly.

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...once jumped off the deck of a a ship for the same reason, if I recall my childhood literature. I'm assuming the guy who jumped from Legal was neither a rock star nor a curious little monkey.

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I seem to have missed when they had the hearing after this event.

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You pay the city enough money in fees.

Hire enough police and fire details (minimum 4 hours each)

(However, they throw in the Police boat with off duty friends and family partying on board as a freebe)

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Boston saying no to fun since 1630.

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Nothing more fun than possibly breaking your neck while you try to jump into the Harbor from an incredibly unsafe position. That's, like, my entire Saturday night.

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It's far from obvious to me.

Clearing the deck should be relatively easy given a running start. 15' isn't a very long jump made on flat ground, having the height advantage should make it easy.

As for the height, 35' up is just a touch more than a 10m diving board. Of course you don't see those at municipal pools because everybody is terrified of litigation.

Hardly "incredibly unsafe". Risky? Maybe.

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Let him try again.

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If such simple-minded people want to try their hand at this stunt, then sure, let them have their fun.

Once they get out of the harbor, one of Legal's security guards can toss the wet patron a functioning toaster, or tase them (whatever will yield the best chance for smoke coming off their head).

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Have you ever done the mop-up when someone tried a stunt like this and it didn't go well? Do you think it's good to tie up ambulances and other emergency services because people want to do stupid stunts? I think there's a happy medium between activating the SWAT teams and pretending that their "fun" doesn't have any harmful consequences for others.

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