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How did a young man wind up in Fort Point Channel after a bar party early one November morning? We may never know; he says he can't remember

The Boston Licensing Board could decide Thursday whether Howl at the Moon on High Street shares any of the blame for the way one of its patrons wound up in Fort Point Channel, from which he managed to climb out shortly before police found him between the Congress Street and Moakley bridges, wet, shivering and clad only in his underwear and one sock - several hours after he was booted from the bar.

The man told police he suspects he was roofied during a fifth-year high-school reunion party at Howl at the Moon on Nov. 27, because he said he does not remember anything after about 10:30 p.m. that night - about an hour after the party ended and about half an hour before he was asked to leave for appearing intoxicated. The man told police he suspected the last drink he had at the party may have been drugged; he took it from an unknown woman - possibly its intended target, he thinks.

At a licensing hearing this morning, however, BPD Det. Karl Dugal said a blood sample taken from the man at the local hospital to which he was brought showed no evidence of any drugs. Dugal said the man had admitted having six drinks that night - a pre-gaming beer and then two beers, two rums and Coke and a vodka and Red Bull at the open-bar party. The board held the hearing after police issued the bar a citation for the incident, citing "overservice of alcohol at open bar event."

After leaving the bar, he stuck around outside and got into a brief fight with some people waiting in line outside, police and bar managers told the board.

Shortly before 3:30 a.m., now Nov. 28, two Boston Police officers on patrol spotted him outside 470 Atlantic Ave., in a T-shirt, underpants and one sock, less than a half mile from Howl at the Moon. Officer Katie Murray said he told her and her partner he'd fallen into the harbor and had spent 20 minutes in the water before finally being able to get himself out. He said he had taken most of his clothes off to try to dry them off. "He was shivering and wet," Murray said.

Reading from a police report, Sgt. Det. William Gallagher said the man had attended the reunion party at Howl at the Moon, the party ended at 9:30 p.m., then he and some friends stayed on. Howl at the Moon co-owner Paul Holian said he was asked to leave around 11 p.m. because he appeared to be drunk, After responding to what Holian said was "quick, up and down, over with very quickly" fight outside, involving the man and some queued people, Holian said staffers lost sight of the man because it was a fairly busy night and they got back to business. Bar manager Arthur Lucas said somebody on staff called police at first sign of trouble in the line, because "we thought it was going to escalate larger than it was." He did not say if police responded to the call.

Police said the man's friends last spotted him around 2 a.m., still on High Street, as they got into an Uber and he stayed behind.

Holian, who was not present that night, said he had no idea anything had happened under the next morning, when both police and a member of the man's family called. He said he eventually wound up talking to the man's mother, the man himself and the man's father - even driving out to a suburb to meet with dad at his workplace.

"I'm a father myself and it's a concerning thing particularly what we hear about young men going into the harbor," Holian said.

Holian did not elaborate on whether he meant the alleged Smiley Face Killer, the urban legend about the guy who haunts the waterfront, drowning college-age men - who would actually have to be approaching 150 years of age at this point and who would also have to be drowning women and homeless people, except those alleged victims never seem to get much attention.

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Comments

Is this kinda thing typically the bars fault around here ?

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Voting closed 10

There have been three incidents that have resulted in licensing-board hearings recently before today.

The board has concluded the bars did not appear at fault in two cases and said there wasn't enough evidence in the third (in part because in that case, the bar was only cited for handing out free drinks, which is illegal).

But the board will no doubt keep holding hearings on it, because both it and BPD in general keep hearing about people being slipped drugs at local bars - enough for both to issue advisories to bars to be on the lookout - and because overseeing general bar safety in Boston is also part of the board's purview.

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Voting closed 12

Giving Boston a bad rap since 1630.

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Voting closed 11

He is lucky as most do not survive a meeting with the Smiley Face Killer.

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Voting closed 25

Surely you jest?

Lots and lots of people say that there is no serial killer out there in Eastern New England.

If you suggest it, you are dismissed by many that you have something in your head like women used to be dismissed for having something phantom called PMS.

Yet, somehow drunk young men, and remember, it is always men, somehow have ended up in the Providence River, Boston Harbor, and the Merrimack River.

Yes, there have been homeless men who have fallen into water too, but there also has been a big 21 to 29 year old set that have disappeared, into the water, many blocks from where they were drinking. Lumping all accidental drownings and people who let's face it, have a permanent BAC of 1.85 together, and some kid out drinking, is a disservice to the public good and to the wishes of the Boston Visitors and Convention Bureau.

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Voting closed 15

Okay.

Perhaps "lots of facts" and "actual investigations" would be more accurate.

I refer all who are interested to earlier discussions here for links to the various investigations, evidence, and cold hard facts that the "typical" adult drowning victim is male and inebriated and alone. Just type Smiley Face Killer into the search box.

Adam provides context and clarity on the subject in this excellent post from 2017

ETA A good thread with references to investigations, rates of drowning, etc. in 2016

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Voting closed 24

Bravo. New dosage is working well I see.

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Voting closed 22

You seem to be going further off the rails than usual.

Perhaps you should go drive in circles some more, yell at some clouds? That seems to be the limit of your professional expertise.

But hey, yer whiny impotent internet troll FEELS and BELIEFS >>>> reality and facts.

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Voting closed 27

Swirlsville - Where yelling stupidity sounds sane to just the local population of one.

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Voting closed 24

Less alcohol, perhaps?

Your mental health care benefits?

The "fighting stereotype" routine is getting very old.

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Voting closed 26

Yet somehow it winds up being more poo-flinging at the monkey-house. Congratulations.

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Voting closed 7

...you might want to look at the exact point where the discourse started to break down. "New dosage is working well I see", said in response to a civil comment, took it into a new realm.

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Voting closed 9

This has to be one of the best and most unexpected examples of Poe's Law I've seen in a long, long time.

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Voting closed 15

Really, man.

Are you OK?

Your comments have been way off the rails lately. Maybe take an internet break for a few days and do some stuff around the house.

We'll all still be here when you feel better.

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Voting closed 4

Should be "smiley face killer /s"

Unless its just that alcohol gives these young folk a smiley face and leads to this sort of situation time and again.

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Voting closed 15

Guys who get drunk always think "I have to pee I should pee in the harbor/river/reservoir it's right there!" Then because they're drunk, they fall in. No serial killer needed, it kills tons of tourists in Amsterdam every year too.

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Voting closed 6

That is probably pretty important.....

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Voting closed 22

The guy isn't being charged with a crime and already gave a blood sample so there's no need to investigate further. The roofie story gathered no traction as it was probably evident to anyone reading that the man in question was making it up.

Also, when I read "...the man's friends last spotted him around 2 a.m., still on High Street, as they got into an Uber and he stayed behind." it tells me all I need to know about the person in question. Even his 5-year-high-school-reuinion friends wanted nothing to do with him.

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Voting closed 17

Wouldn't that be part of the public record?

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Drunk, stupid, and completely fucking lucky to be alive is not a criminal offense.

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Voting closed 28

for the entertainment

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Voting closed 6

Police mentioned it a couple times in the hearing. I exercised my editorial judgment and left it out because he was not charged with a crime.

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Voting closed 10

It kind of sounds like he just got really drunk and fell in the channel. Not really seeing the roofie angle here.

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Voting closed 18

… is looking pretty good to just stop by and not have the risk of having my drink spiked.

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Voting closed 12

I'm just glad this story explained his lack of clothing. Did they ever find the other sock though?

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Voting closed 6

It was his 5 year HS reunion.

So what, 23? 24?

A dumb kid (who thinks he's an adult now) goes to a reunion and doesn't get the reaction he expected from someone.

He thinks he's a big shot adult in the city with an image in his head of how things will go. Only to show up and the girl he was really hoping to see is now engaged/married or worse, she completely forgets who he is.

All that liquid courage he downed beforehand suddenly crashed headfirst into the several rounds of shots he downed 15 mins after getting there.

Instead of taking stock of what he did, his embarrassment led him to blame some phantom roofie when in reality he's lucky he's not dead.

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Voting closed 4

How can the bar be responsible for overserving him if by his own admission "The man told police he suspected the last drink he had at the party may have been drugged; he took it from an unknown woman - possibly its intended target, he thinks."

The bar can't control people at tables passing drinks around. At least it can't without turning into a smothering nanny.

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Voting closed 6

If the bar, or one of its employees, knew somebody was putting drugs in patrons' drinks, that's a Bad Thing and something the licensing board would want to do something about. At one of the earlier hearings, a victim said she thought the bartender might have slipped her something (the board concluded there wasn't enough evidence for that and, besides, police didn't cite the bar for that).

That's why they hold hearings - they're quasi-judicial hearings, where witnesses have to swear to tell the truth and all. By itself, a police citation means nothing - there's no fine attached to them - except that they are sort of a subpoena to show up at a licensing-board hearing. The board then has the power to suspend or revoke a place's license.

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Voting closed 7