Update: Board rules restaurant not at fault.
A dispute over a shove inside El Jefe's Taqueria, 269 Huntington Ave. in the Fenway, early one May morning ended with a woman beaten to the ground and a man whipping out a gun and shooting up a car that had nothing to do with either the victim or any of her attackers, police and the restaurant's owner told the Boston Licensing Board this morning.
The board decides Thursday whether El Jefe could have done anything to prevent the fight-turned-fusillade on May 28 and, if so, if any sanctions are warranted.
At a hearing this morning, El Jefe owner John Schall said he has since hired a security company to provide a guard between 11:30 p.m. and 3:30 a.m. for the outlet near Symphony. Schall told the board he had not had a guard present in the past, either at this taqueria or his other late-night outlets in Boston, not even the one across from Boston Common, because "we just never had incidents."
Referring specifically to Huntington Avenue, which he noted doesn't serve alcohol, "this incident, I guess, scared us, to be honest; it's why we've secured security for this store."
According to police, a woman walking into the taqueria with her cousin around 3 a.m. got shoved by another woman inside. "You didn't have to do that," the shoved woman said, according to a police report. "I'll see you outside," the shover allegedly replied.
The victim thought nothing of it, but after she was done getting her food and went outside, the woman and some of her friends were waiting for her there and began beating her and didn't stop once she fell to the ground, according to police, who said the woman lost consciousness, only to regain it with the women still kicking her.
Then, police say, some guy with a gun pulled it out and began firing it, repeatedly. He didn't hit anybody but did put numerous bullets into a Mercedes belonging to another El Jefe customer that was parked right outside, police say, adding that the owner - who himself was packing a licensed gun - and his friend rushed outside to find the mob of beaters had fled and his car now had a shattered window and various other sorts of damage caused by the bullets. In total, police say, officers recovered eight shell casings - and a bullet fragment inside the car.
Police say they found the victim with a swollen face, bruising around her left eye and multiple scratches, along with pain along the right side of her body. Police say that in addition to beating her, the group also apparently stole her wallet.