EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 9, 2013

Bar warned to watch for drug use in bathrooms

By Shawn Regan
sregan@eagletribune.com

---- — HAVERHILL — A downtown lounge has been warned to watch out for customers drinking or doing drugs in restrooms after a customer got heavily intoxicated without drinking at the bar and then tried to fight other patrons, security personnel and police.

Police said Christian Flores, 71 Fountain St., was charged with disturbing the peace and malicious damage to the police station after he was arrested by police Nov. 23.

A police report on the incident said officers were called to the Chit Chat Lounge on Washington Street at 8:30 p.m. for a customer causing a disturbance.

The caller said the man was creating “quite a problem, accosting females and attempting to fight with patrons and employees,” the police report said.

“Even the bouncers had backed well away from the defendant, who appeared to be looking to start a fight,” the police report said.

“He was clenching his fist and posturing in a hostile manner, stating that he was a U.S. Marine and pumping his chest in a threatening and challenging manner,” the police report said.

Flores then became “assaultive and moved forcefully into an officer,” the report said.

“The defendant, being short and extremely stocky and covered in perspiration, was difficult to control,” the police report said. “The defendant was shouting and flailing his entire body trying to free his arms to continue the fight.”

Police used pepper spray to get him into handcuffs, the report said. On the way to the police station, Flores told officers that he or his family members would get revenge on the officers or their families, the report said.

At the station he stripped off his clothes and defecated and urinated in is cell.

At the request of police, the License Commission called the owners of the Chit Chat to a meeting Thursday night to discuss the matter.

Police Capt. Alan Ratte said Chit Chat employees appear to have handled the matter correctly by calling police, but that he was concerned that they possibly could have called police sooner and that a customer was allowed to get so intoxicated.

“My concern is how did this guy get so intoxicated in there and maybe they should have called police earlier, before it escalated,” Ratte told the commission.

Steven Doherty, who identified himself as the manager and co-owner of the Chit Chat, said he was there that night and had spoken to Flores earlier in the night. Doherty told the commission that Flores was served just two alcoholic drinks, but that he didn’t drink either one.

Doherty said he saw Flores go into the lounge’s bathroom before Doherty left the business around 7:30 p.m. to go to the store to get limes and other supplies.

“Then a little bit later I got a call that (Flores) got maced by police and that it was real horror show at the bar,” Doherty told the commission. “Maybe he did drugs or nips in the bathroom. Somehow he went from polite to an animal in a short amount of time. I don’t know how it happened.”

Ratte told Doherty that bar owners and managers must be aware of what’s going on in the restrooms.

“If he was going drugs in the bathroom, you have to be aware of that too,” Ratte said. “Maybe you need to patrol the restrooms more often.”

Doherty said sometimes customers sneak nips of liquor into the bar and drink them in the bathroom. He said he would watch out for that activity in the future.

After hearing from Ratte and Doherty, the commission decided not to take disciplinary action against the business.