Beer Board gets tough on unreported fights

Beer Board gets tough on unreported fights

May 19th, 2017 by Tim Omarzu in Business Around the Region

Expect to lose your beer license for a couple of weeks, if you're a Chattanooga bar owner who doesn't report a fight.

The Chattanooga Beer Board handed out that punishment for its second meeting in a row on Thursday morning.

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Beer sales were suspended for 12 days at the Glass Street Lounge, a beer-only club at 2302 Glass St., that didn't report an April 23 fight in which a woman was stabbed, leaving her with a punctured lung and cuts that needed 37 staples to close.

The suspension, which starts at 8 a.m. on May 25 and ends at 3 a.m. on June 6, came after Chattanooga Police Detective Corey Stokes testified that he was called at 1 a.m. to the emergency room at CHI Memorial Hospital to interview the victim. She told Stokes she was stabbed about two hours earlier by one of her husband's ex-wives during a fight in the lounge's bathroom.

"Going home she realized she was cut several times," Stokes testified. "The bar had never reported the fight."

The lounge's owner Tyrone Brumfield testified there was only a "verbal altercation" in the bar, and he suggested that the stabbing happened elsewhere.

"There's not a drop of blood. There's nothing in the lounge, period," he said. "I really don't know how I'd call and report something that didn't happen."

Brumfield also said that he didn't call police that night, because the victim threatened to do so as she was ejected from the lounge.

Beer board members settled on a suspension that several said would be consistent with the two-week suspension given on May 4 to Alan Gold's after the longtime gay bar didn't report a Feb. 26 assault in which a bouncer got a patron on the ground and hit him in the face, knocking out a tooth, breaking a facial bone and leaving him blood-covered.

Beer board member Dan Mayfield said he'd vote yes "only because of starting to maintain some consistency."

In other action, the beer board wrote a letter of reprimand to Mike's Hole in the Wall. Police Officer John Collins testified that during an April 22 check of the bar at 538 Cherokee Blvd., two of the bar's three employees admitted they had drinks before coming to work.

The bar's co-owner, John McClellan, testified that only one of the employees was on duty.

"They do know that they cannot drink [at work],"McClellan told the beer board. "And they cannot come in drunk."

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at tomarzu@timesfreepress.com or www.facebook.com/MeetsForBusiness or on Twitter @meetforbusiness or 423-757-6651.


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