An argument inside New York Pizza, 224 Tremont St., in November ended with a man getting puncture wounds in the head, neck and shoulder, Boston Police told the Boston Licensing Board today.
But an attorney for the pizza place questioned whether the man was stabbed with a knife, as police said, or with a razor blade - or even if he was just punched and had some of his facial jewelry pulled out.
New York Pizza was before the board for both the slashing and the failure to call police.
Sgt. William Gallagher said the incident started around 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 10, when two guys asked somebody seated at a table if they could borrow something on the table. The man at the table answered them and the two standing men thought he was making a racial comment towards them. This led to a lengthy argument - the man at the table said he wasn't saying anything racial - and then one of the standing men walked out onto the street, put his hoodie up, went back in and grappled with the man at the table.
The man at first thought he'd been punched three times, but then friends with him told him he'd been stabbed and was now bleeding, Gallagher said. Everybody quickly left and the man and his friends headed to the nearby Tufts Medical Center emergency room.
New York Pizza's attorney, Thomas Finnerty, Jr., told the board that the manager on duty didn't call police because he didn't realize anything had even happened. He said the manager did not realize anything was amiss - despite what Gallagher said was a lengthy buildup to the physical attack - and that the attack was over quickly, in "the snap of the fingers," and then everybody left. He said the first the manager realized there had been a problem was when police arrived to investigate - and when he and Gallagher watched surveillance video from the time of the incident.
He noted that the official police report recounts that one of the victim's friends had told police she didn't realize the man had been attacked, and said this was further proof the pizza place should not be punished for not reporting an incident it did not know had happened.
He added that while the video is clear enough to be used to ID the attacker - if he can be found, which to date, he has not been - it's unclear from the video whether the weapon was a knife or a razor blade held between the attacker's fingers.
He also mentioned the victim's facial jewelry. When board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini questioned the relevancy of that, Finnerty said it's even possible that at least some of the man's injuries came not from a blade, but from the jewelry being pulled out.
Pulgini still seemed reluctant to accept the reason for bringing up the fact the man had jewelry. "The issue is this: All you had to do was call police."
The board could decide Thursday what action, if any, to take; it could also delay a vote until after it gets to see the video of the incident, which neither New York Pizza nor Gallagher were able to provide today.