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As patrons huddled inside, angry man attacked South Boston bar with a hockey stick

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.

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Comments

should've also been arrested for wanton, malicious destruction of property, as well as assault. He should be arrested for tried for and charged with the above-mentioned behaviors, and put behind bars for a long time.

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So taxpayers should pay $50-60k a year for "a long time" to imprison this guy?

How about we use a tiny fraction of that money to help rehabilitate this person who likely has a mental health and/or substance abuse issue?

We have enough people in prison in this country. Putting someone in jail ruins their life FOREVER. They'll have PTSD and never be qualified to work a job ever again. It should only be reserved for the truly violent criminals who are beyond hope.

What this guy did sucks, but doesn't fall into that category (not even close).

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a person. The guy needs to be taken off the street for awhile. He should not have done what he did...period. As the saying goes "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime."

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I drive by every day on my way home Frome work and just wondering, anyone been in it? I will leave my hockey stick at home:)

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When you're actually from South Boston you don't get arrested or mentioned by name. Dems the rules.

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Not true, but whatever.

The focus of licensing hearings, as you might expect, is not on the names of individuals (although police do tend to read them from their reports - victim's names as well). I didn't catch the guy's name and, to be honest, don't really feel like trying to get it from BPD (it would be in their incident report), because it didn't seem like we're dealing with, oh a career criminal who bites off another man's lower lip or something.

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thereby avoid the consequences of a wrongdoing? Come on now! That's one of the problems with South Boston: wrongdoers don't get punished in any way or form.

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and never closes at 1:00am.

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If the bar owner calls the police, he gets written up. If he doesn’t call the police, he gets written up. I’d take my chances and not call and hope to get away with it, provided nobody got hurt. Maybe if the Licensing Board changes the rule, so that the bar isn’t automatically in trouble if police are called, owners would be more likely to cooperate. And what is the criteria for calling police, an argument? A fight? Nothing is clear in the rules. The bar is at fault no matter what, which is why many bars are reluctant to call. Further, apparently, the suspect was never in the bar. I say exonerate the bar. No warning. Nothing was done that was wrong.

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But, per the Licensing Board's apparent mantra of "punish the business", the bar is now in trouble because the guy went home and then came back later and started attacking THEM.

With logic like this, perhaps we need to rethink how the Licensing Board operates and change it.

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Mark Ciommo had an opponent make the ballot, so he had to actually try to get re-elected. I saw a Facebook post from him, and asked straight up, "What steps will you take to eliminate the Boston Licensing Board?"

No response. That new City Council with some turnover looks nice. Perhaps they have some better ideas on this.

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Just being called to the hearing isn't the same as imposing punishment on the bar. Most of these cases conclude with the board finding the bar did the right thing.

Bars which don't call the police are foolish because that's an easy way to turn a quickly dismissed hearing into a much bigger deal.

This isn't to say the licensing board is a good thing but that's the law and the people who can change the law are the state reps, not bar owners or internet commentators.

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Just being called to the hearing isn't the same as imposing punishment on the bar.

Having to take the time out from running your business to prepare for and attend a hearing, and having to pay out money for the lawyer who will represent you at the hearing, while it may not technically be "punishment" in any official sense, sure seems punishing to me....

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I understand this position, but getting written up and having to appeal before the board is not the same as getting in trouble. It just means something happened that's worth investigating. If a liquor-serving establishment has an established pattern of being involved in incidents, even if it never does anything wrong, it's reasonable for the board to ask questions.

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We never find out why. On anything. Unless the story becomes so sensationalized it ends up on TV.

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The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a hockey stick is a good guy with a hockey stick. If more of the patrons were carrying concealed hockey sticks, this never would have happened.

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People thought the recent lobster heist was the most Boston-thing ever. This is in the running, too. Southie guy attachs Southie bar with hockey stick. I wonder if he had a Bruins shirt on or a scally cap.

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This is the "character" of Boston that is fast eroding away with the evils of gentrification. Thank goodness for townies who still give a damn about preserving culture.

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you gotta understand, guys with hockey sticks are gonna hit you.

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It's Southie.

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