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Board shuts Union Street bar over murder outside; says place was a public-safety menace

Joyce, Saxon and Curran

Board members Joyce, Saxon and Curran.

The Boston Licensing Board voted unanimously this morning to shut Sons of Boston on Union Street indefinitely because of the stabbing murder of Daniel Martinez on March 19 and earlier incidents that board members said proved the place was "an abject failure" in protecting the public.

A complete lack of adequate security measures - including failing to do background checks on employees - "led to serious public-safety issues and now Daniel Martinez is dead," board Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce said. "I don't believe Sons of Boston can adequately protect the public." She said that among the bar's training lapses: Adequately training bouncers and door staff on how to de-escalate incidents.

Board member Keeana Saxon blasted the bar for "a series of abject failures," and said whether they were intentional or just examples of "gross negligence," Sons of Boston has forfeited its right to stay open.

Video of the hearing on Martinez's death:

Joyce, Saxon and board member Liam Curran listed a litany of issues that started even before Martinez's death, allegedly by being stabbed by bouncer Alvaro Omar Larrama, 39, of East Boston. On Oct. 9, another "very angry" bouncer began threatening to fight passersby and when the police arrived and another bouncer tried to get him to stop, he shoved that man into a wall and began yelling "fuck the police!"

Hearing on Oct. 9 incident:

The bar fired that bouncer but failed to do anything to adequately train bouncers or check to make sure they had no criminal past, as required by regulations, Joyce said. The bar had "a complete absence of a security plan," she said.

On the night of Martinez's murder, board members continued, the bar and its employees did pretty much everything wrong:

Even after workers and manager Jason Kuczynski realized something was seriously wrong - and Larrama had fled - they never called police. Kuczynski never tried to keep Larama in the bar after he rushed inside following the stabbing. Video showed that not only did Larrama go to the bar basement to change out of his clothes, another bar worker "brought him a change of clothes."

The roving worker who went outside and spotted Larrama in "an altercation" should have immediately called police, Curran said.

Despite Kuczynski saying doormen only got to work the door after two weeks of training, and that bar policy was to always have two on duty, after the stabbing, the door was staffed by just one man, who had never worked for the bar before and was just working that one night, Joyce said.

Joyce said that everything that had happened with the bar in the past, combined with what happened the night of the murder showed that something like Martinez's death could have been foreseen - and prevented had the bar done the right way.

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Comments

I hope this is just the beginning of closing problem establishments.

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Voting closed 40

That entire street is a problem. Sons has had multiple incidents, but so has The Point, The Bell in Hand, and Hennessys. About a decade ago they always had a BPD officer on the doors on weekends - that’s no longer the practice. All the bars down there won’t even pay their workers appropriately, many of whom are working unpaid OT hours, they’re cheap and greedy, even more so since The Plague - if you’re breaking every labor law in the book, you clearly don’t care if your employees or your patrons are safe.

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Voting closed 15

Boston in general has a really shitty bouncer culture and its time all area bars take a good hard look at how they hire and train these folks.

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Voting closed 59

So would we close a supermarket if one of its baggers had an argument with a customer, followed them outside, and stabbed them? I know the "But the Licensing Board...." argument--I just am still totally baffled.

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Voting closed 24

If that supermarket had a shitty track record with public safety and recklessness prior to the stabbing, then yes, that supermarket would be closed

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Voting closed 89

Replace "one of its baggers killing a customer" with "one of the supermarkets food products poisoning and killing a customer" and then work it through your mind.....

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Voting closed 31

There's a reason bars are more tightly regulated than supermarkets, which I think you can figure out, but just in case: Only one of those types of establishments sits in an environment where people's inhibitions may come undone under the influence of alcohol (and using what is, for better or worse, a very scare commodity issued by the city - its liquor license).

But, yes, if you could prove that a supermarket encouraged violent actions, whether intentionally or through gross negligence, you could make the case to shut a supermarket after your hypothetical bagger murder.

And that's what the board concluded happened here: Had the bar done better training and hiring, the chances of what happened would have been far reduced. The fact that it's really unusual for Boston bouncers - who have to put up with a lot of shit night after night - to attack, let alone fatally stab, somebody while on duty suggest this kind of vigilance does work.

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Voting closed 62

Whatever was said, the two men disengaged and left. They walked away.

The bouncer followed and attacked them.

Doesn't sound "well trained in de-escallation" in the least.

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Voting closed 19

Serving underage customers, or having too many people in the building, etc etc. You are baffled that they could lose their license over an employee murdering someone? I don't think a laissez faire outlook (that means leave businesses alone) covers murder.

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Voting closed 43

maybe you should try a different supermarket.

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Voting closed 59

they should put a minigolf place there since thats the rage in the city that always sleeps

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Voting closed 17

they never called police.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't calling the police win you an automatic appearance before the Licensing Board?

Not condoning the bar's actions here, but if bars not reporting violent incidents to the police is a problem, then perhaps we need to rethink this "automatic appearance" provision.

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Voting closed 29

Yes, there is a general problem with police calls resulting in licensing board hassles.

But the SPECIFIC problem here is that they knew that the bouncer had been involved in a VIOLENT altercation and still didn't call police. In fact, one of their staff saw that altercation, and didn't call police.

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Voting closed 20

Video showed that not only did Larrama go to the bar basement to change out of his clothes, another bar worker "brought him a change of clothes."

adam gaffin

An accessory-after-the-fact is someone who assists 1) someone who has committed a crime, 2) after the person has committed the crime, 3) with knowledge that the person committed the crime, and 4) with the intent to help the person avoid arrest or punishment. An accessory after the fact may be held liable for, among other things, obstruction of justice.

www.law.cornell.edu/wex/accessory_after_the_fact

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Voting closed 21