Boston Police report their investigation into a shooting outside the Garage club on Linden Street in Allston on Sept. 18 has been hampered by the fact that the victim, recovering from getting shot in the head, is refusing to cooperate with them.
At a Boston Licensing Board hearing this morning, officers from District D-14 and Allston/Brighton City Councilor Mark Ciommo said they and their constituents are getting fed up with a steady stream of problems at the Garage, part of the old Russian Benevolent Society complex that include rowdy customers and major parking issues on the blocks around the club.
In fact, police told the board, D-14 officers had just finished writing out 50 parking tickets for Garage patrons that night when the man was shot around the corner on Pratt Street shortly after 10 p.m.
Curt Bletzer, attorney for the Garage, acknowledged a connection between the victim and the club: Not long before the shooting, club doormen had denied him access to the place, even after he flashed "a wad of cash" in an attempt to buy his way in. As he was arguing with the doormen, Bletzer said, a woman joined him and took him away - after she slapped him in the head. The two walked down Linden and turned onto Pratt, where doormen lost sight of him.
Moments later, he was shot.
"We don't know what happened on Pratt," Bletzer said. D-14 Sgt. Det. Jose Lozano said the victim is remaining tight lipped with police.
Bletzer said that following the shooting, the club has taken several steps, including firing the manager on duty that night and banning the promoter who had arranged that night's entertainment. He said club managers want to work with police to deal with overall issues and parking in particular.
Ciommo and police said the club will have plenty to talk about. Ciommo said just this year, police have answered 66 complaints related to 20 Linden St. and that the club has become "very stressful" for both police and nearby residents.
Police said the Garage is now the first thing residents bring up at every community meeting they attend - and said Sunday nights are the worst, especially for parking. They said firefighters responding to a three-alarm fire in June were hampered by Garage patrons parked in front of hydrants and in crosswalks.
Bletzer said he felt it unfair to blame the Garage for all of Linden Street's issues because the building also houses a daycare and because the street is a major shortcut for people leaving other Allston bars heading to the turnpike.
Lozano responded that the vast majority of the complaints are about the Garage specifically, not about the daycare or other bar goers passing through.