A man ordered away from Murphy's Law, 837 Summer St., after he punched a woman in the face because he couldn't quite hit the guy he meant to hit, went home, got a hockey stick and proceded to repeatedly smash the bar's windows and doors until he finally broke a window pane, police and the bar's co-owner told the Boston Licensing Board today.
BPD Sgt. Peter Chu and co-owner Scott Pumphret said the action began early on Oct. 22 when a nearby resident got into an argument with another man in a small outside area that bar maintains for smokers.
The man, who never actually entered the bar, got wound up enough to try to punch out his opponent, only he missed and instead twice punched a woman who was standing in the area but who had nothing to do with the fight, police said. Pumphret said he was unaware the woman had been punched, saying that he talked to her and that she said she had been hit somehow but was otherwise OK and, in fact, wanted to stay for another drink.
Bar workers, meanwhile, hustled the man away from the bar. The man, whom Pumphret said he knows from having grown up in Southie, went to his O Street residence and got a hockey stick, with which he returned to the bar about ten minutes later. Pumphret said that, knowing the guy, he figured he might return, although he did not figure he would return with a hockey stick, let alone try to use it, and that he locked the front door around 1 a.m. mainly because that's when the bar usually closes up for the night.
But, Chu said, the man then proceded to use his stick and began banging on the windows. Pumphret, meanwhile, told the roughly dozen remaining patrons, "everyone stay here, I'll get police." By the time police arrived, the man had fled, but Pumphret suggested they check out his O Street residence where, Chu said, officers found the man and a hockey stick with blood on it.
Board member Liam Curran asked Pumphret why he only called police after the man went on his hockey-stick rampage, instead of after the woman had been punched. Pumphret reiterated that was because the woman never told him she'd been punched, that she declined his offer to call either police or an ambulance and that she wanted to stay for another drink, so he didn't realize something more serious might have happened outside. "She said she was fine," he said.
Pumphret added he didn't expect the man to become violent. "Over the years, I've seen him about," but never with any suggestions of stick-wielding violence, he said.
Neither Pumphret nor police speculated on why the man was so angry.
The board decides Thursday whether the bar could have done anything to prevent the outburst.