Social-media monitoring now a requirement to rent out one Dorchester social club after teen's birthday party spirals out of control

Officials at Montserrat Aspirers Community Center, 380 Washington St., told the Boston Licensing Board today they've developed a detailed security plan to prevent a recurrence of an April melee that spun out of a 13-year-old's birthday party when word spread over social media and lots of kids who weren't invited showed up and then refused to leave.

At a hearing today, police said they had to respond twice on the night of April 7 to break up rowdy, fighty teens, once inside and once outside. By the time it was all over, two teens were under arrest and a local police captain was nursing a fresh gouge mark on his face from where one of the teens had clawed him - and knocked his glasses off - a police detective told the board, adding three other officers were assaulted, one with spit by the same teen who clawed Capt. Robert Ciccolo and two others with fists.

Club President Lennox Lee told the board he had rented the hall out to a family for the birthday party and that he had limited attendance to the hall's maximum capacity of 40 people. The teens had four chaperones - all members of the celebrating teen's family. He said he refused to let any of the other teens in.

What happened was word of the party got out on social media and police responded to a report of 30 teens outside the hall trying to get in and getting into fights and screaming, Lee and Lt. Det. Stephen Meade told the board.

Officers managed to get the teens around the corner onto Bowdoin Street, where the crowd dispersed, but then the officers went inside and found more fighting, Meade said, reading from a police report on the incident. They'd mostly broken things up when a group of girls appeared to getting ready to fight. Ciccolo broke that up, but one of the girls began "to scream and flail about" Meade said. As a crowd gathered around him, the teen, 17, clawed at Ciccolo's face and spat in his general direction, missing him, but hitting a sergeant, Meade said.

Meanwhile, outside, a crowd of yelling teens in the mood to fight had gathered again. One male teen, 17, refused police orders to disperse and instead began calling them "pussies" and "little bitches" and vowing to "fuck them up," Meade said. When he went into a fighting stance, an officer moved in, but the kid used his left shoulder to slam into one officer's chest, knocking him off balance, Meade said. As other officers moved in to get him to the ground and cuffed, they were surrounded by other teens, who began punching them.

Meade said officers were eventually able to get the teen cuffed and into a cruiser to head to booking, even as other officers got the teens to disperse.

Lee and other Montserrat Aspirers board members said that because of the incident, they developed new security policies, one of which requires hall renters have to monitor social media to ensure parties are not advertised there. Officials said they will do likewise, and will cancel the contracts for any parties they do find being promoted by digital word of mouth.

Anybody who wants to rent the hall has to agree to pay for three security guards - a move that Lee said has led to a loss of business, because people don't have the money for that.

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

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Comments

Melee

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The parents need to teach these kids to respect each other and police, otherwise these teenagers will be in future arrest reports. I hope the parents gave the kids a good punishment for these actions.

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Voting is closed. 26

What.

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There has to be more to this story - what 17-year-olds want to go to a 13-year-old's birthday party so badly that they show up uninvited and want to fight people to get in? I mean, I get that after a certain point the goal of getting into the party is probably not what they were fighting about, but still. Was there a rumor that someone famous was going to be there? Free unlimited alcohol? Why weren't the people who promoted the party on social media held accountable?

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Voting is closed. 33

Girls. The answer is girls.

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17 yo kids got to a 13 yo party to meet 15 yo's. Birds and the bees.

Too many kids from different cliques showed up and wanted to fight.

Not much different than going to a Fights of Columbus dance when I was growing up.

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Voting is closed. 22

Sooo

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Businesses now need to play investigator in order to provide services in fear of licencing issues?

Adam, before you jump on me. I get it.. but seriously tho? How many more hoops are businesses going to have to do to stay open.

It's nanny state crap like this that makes Boston anti small business.

I feel sorry for business who have to put up with this crap.

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Voting is closed. 54

"hoops"? "nanny state"? Where do you see govt compulsion?

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I'm no fan of excessive red tape, but unless you have more information that Adam shared in the article, I don't see here anything about new government requirements. The owners of the business told the board "these are the steps we're taking to avoid similar incidents". Don't you think they were at motivated in large part by a desire to safeguard their business?

The time to kvetch about too many 'hoops' would be after the board announces what it's going to do. Try not to false-start on the outrage.

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Voting is closed. 31

You missed what I was trying to say

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If this board wasn't so the way it was.. and put fear into people losing their licenses, they wouldn't have to say "We are going to play detective in the future"

Business fear so much about this crap they have make these crazy offers to appease the board. This is what my outrage about is.

What's next? Finger prints? at the door run with background checks. Face scanners?

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Voting is closed. 28

ha!

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Sometimes common sense prevails, regardless of political views.

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Voting is closed. 24

How is the fact the party was broadcast

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over social media the business's fault? Why is the business hauled before the Licensing Board because of the actions of individuals they had no control over? That's where the outrage lies.

The people who weren't invited refused to leave. That is on THEM, and not the business. And THEY are the ones who should be punished, not the police

Unfortunately, the Licensing Board would rather continue to find ANY excuse to strong arm businesses for the actions of individuals. After all, they've got to protect their cushy jobs.

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Voting is closed. 31

Clarification

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1) One of the fights was inside the hall. That makes it the hall's problem.

2) One of the things you agree to when you get a liquor or food license in Boston is to maintain control of the sidewalk in front of your property. One of the fights was on that sidewalk. That makes it the hall's problem.

3) The hall came up with the security plan on its own. The way the hearing went down: A police lieutenant testified. The hall's lawyer asked him questions and had the society president testify. The licensing-board chairwoman interrupted his line of questioning to prove that one of the fights was outside and so not the hall's problem to say what she really wanted was to see a security plan that would show how the hall would protect its patrons and workers in the event of future trouble. THEN society officials said, oh, we drew up a plan after this incident and it includes required security guards and social-media monitoring.

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Voting is closed. 18

So now bouncers, bartenders, chaperones, etc

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are expected to be mind readers and anticipate these types of things. Or be able to immediately intervene and stop something when it starts.

But I guess the Licensing Board and their idiotic regulations are just another aymptom of the "find a way to deflect blame on everyone but the person actually responsible for the action" society we've become. Sad how so many of us are willing to accept that.

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Voting is closed. 14

This isn't new

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The requirements have been in place for years.

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Voting is closed. 17

So was this

The Montserrat mystique? A bunch of rowdy teenagers?

YOU LIED TO ME BEACH BOYS

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Voting is closed. 17

What we do know

In both working class and upscale white neighborhoods in the days before social media, if anyone found out if your parents were out of town you would have similar events happening. Plus copious alcohol arriving well before the jocks showed up to crash the party and start fights.

This was a sufficiently common experience that the professor for an anthropology elective that I took as an undergrad in the 80s assigned a project where we were supposed to take such a situation and deconstruct the social roles. Nobody lacked for experience.

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Voting is closed. 23

Oh high school memories floating back

Let the wrong person know about the party, suddenly half the high school is there, yup the football bros showed up and of course, the inevitable fights.

Also found years later that the parents on our block would make eachother aware of any parties the kids had when they were outta town, so looking like I didn't get away with it.

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Voting is closed. 20

And it's still common now

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Good lord, it's teenage kids fighting over old beefs or girls. Has fuck-all to do with race or class. But thanks for the historical perspective..

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Voting is closed. 15

But when the cops showed up,

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But when the cops showed up, did the jocks flee or did they stay and attempt to fight the police?

/kids these days...

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Voting is closed. 17

Great work, BPD

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Sounds like the officers used great restraint when dealing with some extremely disrespectful & violent people. That cane be easy to do.

Bravo to them and shame be on the party crashers. And hopefully a taste of jail time for mr p_ussy b_tch. For all our sakes.

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Voting is closed. 21