Glass Street Lounge owner Tyrone Brumfield is a familiar face at the Chattanooga Beer & Wrecker Board. His visit for the fourth time in five years Thursday was not a happy reunion.
Brumfield, who was arrested and charged after being involved in a fight at the lounge on June 30, had his beer license immediately revoked Thursday in a unanimous vote by the board.
"His whole body of work and his history over the last four years show a lack of control," said Dan Mayfield, a member of the board for seven years. "The tipping point for me is having an owner be a principle in a divisive fight with bloodshed."
Board members, law enforcement and staff agreed it's rare for the beer board to revoke a license. Assistant City Attorney and beer board counsel Keith J. Reisman called it the "death penalty."
Revocations are normally associated with a fatality, drugs or violence, Chattanooga police officer John Collins said after the meeting. Collins said he has seen a handful of revocations in his 17 years working beer board cases.
"None of what was said here is true," said Brumfield, who has 60 days to appeal the decision to Chancery Court.
The lounge was first cited by the beer board and given a three-day suspension after liquor was found improperly stored on Feb. 16, 2014. Brumfield was given a letter of reprimand in May 18, 2017, for failing to report a fight and a seven-day suspension on March 31, 2018, for alcohol sales to an "incapacitated or incompetent person," records show.
"He's a habitual violator," Mayfield said. "We've had a lot of long discussions about revoking a license while I have been here, but it's just very rare."
Brumfield and Marvin Walker got into a fight around 1 a.m. on June 30 outside the bar at 2302 Glass St., according to the police narrative given beer board members. Walker received multiple stab wounds and was taken to Erlanger hospital.
Dora Saxton, Walker's brother, testified Thursday that her brother confronted Walker after Brumfield allegedly cursed Saxton as she prepared to leave. Saxton said she was working the door for a friend who was hosting the private party.
Brumfield said he did confront Walker but not in an aggressive manner, according to the police report. He repeated that assertion to the board Thursday.
"I don't understand why the beer board had the police report and let [Saxton] say all kinds of things that contradict the report," Brumfield said Thursday afternoon. "This will all come out in court and what will the beer board do if the judge dismisses it?"
Brumfield's son, Jarrin, joined the fight against Walker and Saxton, the report said. Both were charged with aggravated assault in the stabbing of Walker and simple assault on Saxton. Both cases are pending in Hamilton County Criminal Court.
Saxton called 911, the report said. Collins said Saxton's 911 call was the only call reporting the fight despite the event having an estimated 100 people in attendance.
"They were stomping my brother," Saxton told the board. "I dialed 911 laying on top of my brother trying to protect him."
Board member Trevor Atchley ask Saxton if Brumfield was drinking the night of the fight, which would be a violation.
"He'd been drinking all night, everybody there had," Saxton said. "I was probably the soberest person in the club because I don't drink."
Board member Chris Keene, who was not present due to a doctor's appointment, has served 12 years on the beer board and 35 years on the Hamilton County Beer Board. He said it's always a surprise when the board reaches the point of revocation.
"You've really got to become a public danger for that to happen," he said.
Reisman said the Glass Street Lounge can remain open to serve food and drinks, just not beer and alcohol.
"If I can be open and sell drinks and barbeque, then that's what I will do," said Blumfield, who said he has a court date next week.
Contact Davis Lundy at email@example.com.