DEERFIELD – Following a review of a January incident in which a bartender allegedly overserved a customer, the Selectboard has voted unanimously to suspend the Tavern Sports Bar’s liquor license for seven days if the business is found responsible for another violation within the next two years.
Robert Petrizzi, the business owner of 2C Elm St., appeared before the board on March 9 for a license suspension hearing following accusations that a bartender overserved a customer on January 21, resulting in a domestic assault and arrest. Selection committee chairman David Wolfram and members Carolyn Shores Ness and Trevor McDaniel said they had no interest in harming a local small business, but also wanted to encourage compliance with state laws. . They read three police accounts, heard oral testimony from an officer and viewed surveillance footage before voting.
“In my opinion, I think it’s clear that something happened,” Shores Ness said.
Solicitor Brian Winner, solicitor for the town of Deerfield, explained that the Selectboard, as the licensing authority, was required by law to serve as judge and jury of the hearing, failing best conditions. He said he was fulfilling the role of a sort of prosecutor and called the hearing “essentially a mini-trial”. He first questioned Deerfield Police Constable Timothy Boland, who said he received a report from a concerned woman on January 22.
Boland said the woman reported that boss Eric Reed had been grossly overserved with alcoholic drinks at the Tavern Sports Bar the day before. When she went to the bar to pick up Reed around 7:30 p.m., he allegedly pushed her twice. According to Boland, Reed was arrested at 9:30 p.m. after causing a disturbance. Boland added that he later viewed video evidence corroborating the woman’s statements.
Boland said he read accounts from two other officers who reported that Reed fought with staff and police “for several minutes until he was arrested and kicked out of the facility.”
Lawyer Kristi Bodin, representing The Tavern Sports Bar, then came to the Selectboard and said Nick Aldrich, a bouncer working on the evening in question, and Petrizzi, the bar owner, were seated next to her. She began by saying that she and her clients had not received copies of the other two officers’ reports, staff statements to police or video footage.
“So I really don’t feel fully prepared at this time to defend my client’s position, missing that information and not having had time to review it,” Bodin said.
Bodin confirmed to Boland that the footage was provided voluntarily by the bar and that Boland had no independent knowledge of whether Reed was overserved. Boland said the video shows Reed consuming a dose of what was presumed to be alcohol, but confirmed to Bodin that he had no other evidence that the bar was serving Reed alcohol other than this dose.
Aldrich testified that after he arrived at work on January 21, he told the manager that Reed had had enough to drink and was no longer serving him.
“I kept an eye on him because he started talking to other customers and being really rude,” he said.
Aldrich said Reed allegedly attacked him after he was asked to leave. He testified that he pushed Reed towards the door and finally had him in a headlock on the floor, when an officer arrived and helped restrain Reed.
Petrizzi, who went to the bar after being contacted about the altercation, said the bartender was fired following the incident. He also said he and his staff have since revisited Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS) training, designed to prevent intoxication, drunk driving and underage drinking.
Bodin asked Selectboard members to “use your best judgment and consider the background of this place and its owner. Consider the steps they have taken since this happened to prevent something like this from happening.” happen again in the future.
Following Bodin’s conclusion, Winner advised the members of the Selectboard that they had to determine by evidence whether the individual was intoxicated on the bar premises, whether the employee involved knew or should have known that the customer was intoxicated and whether that employee was selling or supplying alcohol to the intoxicated. individual. The Selectboard voted unanimously in favor of consensus in the affirmative. They also voted unanimously that a violation of the laws had occurred at the bar.
Shores Ness said she was particularly worried because police officers could have been injured that evening. Wolfram agreed, but admitted he was biased, having served as an officer at Deerfield for 14 years.
When reached by phone Friday, Petrizzi declined to comment further.