EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

February 16, 2014

City mulls penalty for restaurant

Board awaits crash review after driver told cops he was drinking there

(Continued)

The collision left the pedestrian, Jose Diaz, 24, of Lawrence fighting for his life in a Boston hospital.

Edwards said he and fellow commissioners Gerald Sewell and Timothy Coco are looking to obtain information regarding allegations that Hans Garden over-served Sanborn, who subsequently drove into Diaz, according to police.

“We don’t have enough information to go forward at this time,” Edwards said. “This is a very serious issue and I don’t want to do anything that interferes with what (police) are doing.

“We need to get to the bottom of this and find out exactly what happened,” he said.

Edwards said his board may reschedule the matter as an item for discussion, or once the police investigation is completed the commission could bypass a discussion and go directly to a show cause hearing, which would allow the board to take action against the restaurant. He said that at this kind of hearing, the owner of Hans Garden would have a chance to explain his side of the story and the board would then determine if there was a violation and whether or not someone was over-served at Hans Garden.

In September 2012, the restaurant was cited for over-serving a 26-year-old man who fell backward off a second-story deck overlooking the Merrimack River. The Licence Commission gave the restaurant a liquor license probation for six months, but decided not to take further action because the victim declined to talk to the commission or police.

Also in 2012, the commission reviewed another complaint against Hans Garden for not allowing police officers to immediately enter the premises after they showed a security officer at the front door their law enforcement credentials. At the time, Edwards said the undercover officers were looking for a suspect in a criminal investigation, but were delayed from entering the establishment by a bouncer who insisted on seeing the officers’ photo identifications in addition to their badges.

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