Sept. 5 was last call at the Last Drop for one Oak Square man after a series of incidents that left him with a bloody, possibly broken nose and a bartender losing his job there.
Last Drop owner Douglas Bacon told the Boston Licensing Board this morning that the man, who had been a regular at the Washington Street bar, is no longer welcome because he refused several requests that night to leave and made workers so concerned he was going to smash the bar's windows with his fists they called police. The board has to decide Thursday if a citation for "assault and battery, employee on patron" merits any punishment.
The man and Bacon gave, naturally, conflicting accounts of what exactly happened at closing time. Both the man and Bacon agreed, however, that the man was at the bar that night, and that something happened between him, his ex-girlfriend and the bartender, who was possibly her current flame, that ended with the bartender coming out from behind the bar and either sucker-punching or headbutting the man, hard enough to send him to the ground, blood pouring out of his nose.
"It was a highly charged environment, with three people romantically connected in some way," Bacon, who was not present that night, said.
The man, who testified he continued to be a regular at the Last Drop, even though "me and the bartender don't like each other," says that when he first entered the bar earlier in the evening and spotted his ex, she came over to him, but he waved her off, saying he didn't want to talk to her. He said she retreated to her favorite corner of the bar, while he stayed away, but as the evening wore down, they began to talk.
Around 2 a.m., he said, the bartender came out from behind the bar, put his arm around the woman, kissed her on the cheek and asked if she were OK. And then, with "a lot of malice in his eyes," he raised his arm and advanced toward the man, he said.
The man told the board he does not know what happened next - because the next thing he remembers is standing outside the bar with blood streaming out of his nose and an odd loss of sensation in his upper front teeth. He said he later thought he'd been sucker punched, but that a witness told him he'd been head butted instead.
He said he walked down Washington to his Oak Square home, and that as his head cleared, he decided to report the incident to police - so he started walking back down Washington, this time towards the D-14 station, which took him past the Last Drop. Before he got to D-14, he said, he saw a cruiser, waved it down and told officers what had happened. Satisfied a report would be made, he turned around and walked back home.
This time, he said, as he approached the bar, another officer was there and yelled at him to "go away!" He said he told the officer he was walking home and that the officer yelled at him to cross to the other side of the street, which he said he did. The next morning, he added, he went to the hospital.
Bacon and police, however, said that bar staff had asked the man to leave and he wouldn't, and that when the bartender came out from the bar, the man bumped him "multiple times" before the bartender had enough and got more physical - exactly how, Bacon, who was not present that night, could not say.
Bacon said that when the man approached the bar the second time, staffers called police because the man started "pounding on the windows," hard enough the workers were afraid he'd smash them. "He refused to leave," at least until police arrived, Bacon said.
Bacon said he fired the bartender for leaving his post to "engage" the man - he should have stayed where he was and called police right away, he said.
Following the incident, the man said he sent numerous texts to the bar manager - and one to Bacon - asking if he could come in to talk and see how he could get reinstated as a customer. He acknowledged that in one of the texts, he sarcastically apologized for "my face getting in the way of [the bartender's] fist."
But at the hearing, Bacon said it's way too late for a do over - he doesn't want the man back in the bar ever again.
As the hearing ended and Bacon and the man got up, turned around and began to leave, the man halted and told the board he doesn't want Bacon to lose his license, he just wanted to put the events of that night on the record. He probably has little to worry about in that regard - the board rarely revokes a bar's license, and even then, typically only after a series of citations.