At a hearing this morning, BPD Sgt. William Gallagher said he issued a citation to New York Pizza around 2:35 a.m. on Oct. 23 because of a crowd on Tremont Street that was so large and restive it was forcing pedestrians to detour into Tremont Street, possibly risking their lives. The one yellow-vested employee outside was simply unable to control the hungry horde, he said.
New York Pizza attorney Thomas Finnerty, Jr. acknowledged the infraction and said his client has since taken steps to avoid a repeat: When post-club crowds descend, employees will set up a line to keep the hungry from blocking the sidewalks - and that more employees will go outside to keep things under control.
Finnerty then launched into a defense of his client as he pleaded with the board for mercy when it considers possible punishments: "New York Pizza serves a very valuable service this time of night," he said.
People who have had too much to drink in a night of clubbing can sober up a bit as they wait for and then consume a slice, he said. "They can reflect upon whether or not they should be driving an automobile," he said.
"That's a very valuable service," he said, adding the take-out pizza that the place sells late at night also helps out workers getting out of the nearby bars, clubs and restaurants at 2 a.m.
The board decides Thursday whether to take any action on the citation.