Police aren't saying just what it was that ticked off members of the Bromley-Heath gang, but whatever their problem, the result was a brutal attack that sent a 20-year-old man inside the Green Briar Pub to nearby St. Elizabeth's Hospital on Jan. 24.
At a hearing before the Boston Licensing Board this morning, a police sergeant and a bar manager said all of the 13 men indicted last week for beating a man to the ground with their fists, and bottles had actually spent the night in the private party at which their victim was also a guest. In fact, they were "socializing with the victim throughout the evening," the sergeant said.
But shortly before 1 a.m., police and the manager said, the large group of men went outside. They took off their jewelry, put up their hoods and rushed back into the Green Briar, and onto the side of the bar where the party was going on. By the time police arrived, the floor was littered with broken bottles and doused with fresh blood.
"They made a beeline for this individual and began beating him," the sergeant said. "It was an ambush planned by these people."
The bar manager said when she saw the men rush in and head to the victim, she figured something was up and rushed that way as well - but she was stopped by a bouncer, who ordered her back for her own safety as the beating began and other party goers fled for their lives. Meanwhile, on the other side of the bar, regular Green Briar patrons stayed put and continued enjoying their beverages.
It was the sudden flight to safety that actually led to the violation for which the bar was cited: Letting patrons go outside with drinks. The bar manager and another employee said that if that happened, it was only because people who had drinks in their hands fled so quickly they didn't think to put their plastic cups down, and bar workers had their hands full with what bar attorney Dennis Quilty called "a melee of the highest order - people ran for their lives."
Police say they were able to identify all the attackers thanks to video - from both the bar's security system and from cell-phone videoos that were, of course, quickly posted to social media.
Quilty added that the person who reserved space for the private party had done so at least twice before and that the bar had not had problems with the previous parties.
Also at issue: When the bar notified police of the attack within sight of the D-14 station. The sergeant said nobody called 911 for at least ten minutes after the attack started. The bar manager, however, said she immeidately called 911 when she saw what was happening.
The board decides Thursday whether the bar could have done anything to prevent the attack and, if so, what punishment to levy.