Greene Tur­tle restu­rant in White Marsh fined

The Avenue News - - NEWS - By VIRGINIA TERHUNE vter­hune@ches­ Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ Vir­gini­aTer­

The Greene Tur­tle restau­rant in the White Marsh mall has sus­pended its Wed­nes­day night prac­tice of sell­ing two drinks for the price of one fol­low­ing sev­eral in­stances of fights and dis­tur­bances at clos­ing time.

“It’s em­bar­rass­ing for us,” said li­censee Robert Barry Jr. of GT White Marsh LLC dur­ing a hear­ing be­fore the Bal­ti­more County Board of Liquor Li­cense Com­mis­sion­ers on Mon­day, March 13, in Tow­son.

The board fined Barry $1,500 for vi­o­lat­ing the board’s Noise and Music rule dur­ing the early morn­ing hours of Thurs­day, Jan. 19.

It was a 2 to 1 de­ci­sion, with Chair­man Charles Klein and mem­ber Les­lie Pit­tler vot­ing in fa­vor, and Alexan­der Page Jr. against be­cause Barry had taken steps to ter­mi­nate the Wed­nes­day night spe­cials.

The de­ci­sion was one of more than half a dozen by the board that re­sulted in fines for some establishments and dis­missals for others in Mid­dle River, Dun­dalk, Es­sex and Over­lea.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, the Jan. 19 fight at the Greene Tur­tle be­gan in the bar be­tween two in­di­vid­u­als and “quickly es­ca­lated.” When of­fi­cers ar­rived about 1:30 a.m., they found about 150 peo­ple in the park­ing lot.

“Mul­ti­ple groups of peo­ple were yelling [and] ar­gu­ing with each other in the up­per and lower park­ing lots caus­ing a dis­tur­bance,” ac­cord­ing to the po­lice re­port.

It took 30 min­utes to clear the lot with the help of the DWI Task­force and Mary­land State Po­lice who also re­sponded to the scene.

“The in­di­vid­ual par­ties con­tin­u­ally ig­nored of­fi­cer’s com­mands and con­tin­ued to ar­gue with each other and at­tempt to fight one an­other,” po­lice re­ported.

Ac­cord­ing to board records, the liquor li­cense was trans­ferred to Barry from Sam Beritela of GT White Marsh LLC in Novem­ber 2016.

Ear­lier that year, po­lice had re­sponded to similar in­ci­dents early on Thurs­day morn­ing af­ter pa­trons had been drink­ing Wed­nes­day night.

On June 2, 2016, po­lice re­sponded to an al­ter­ca­tion be­tween two fe­male pa­trons that also es­ca­lated into “a large fight.”

“Of­fi­cers spoke with the man­agers on duty in ref­er­ence to the kinds of prob­lems be­com­ing a re­cur­ring prob­lem on Wed­nes­day nights,” ac­cord­ing to the po­lice re­port.

Three weeks later on June 23, 2016, there were four of­fi­cers on duty at the scene to “en­cour­age an or­derly exit.”

“The Green Tur­tle of­fers spe­cials on Wednes- day night which causes a large and rowdy crowd ev­ery week, ac­cord­ing to the po­lice re­port. “Due to the large crowds and abun­dance of in­tox­i­cated pa­trons, the Po­lice Depart­ment sends sev­eral re­source to the lo­ca­tion at clos­ing time to min­i­mize any dis­tur­bances and clear the park­ing lot.”

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, a dis­tur­bance in the bar set off the crowd in the bar and vestibule, quickly turn­ing into “a large hos­tile shov­ing match” about 1:50 a.m.

Fights be­gan in the park­ing lot and one man pulled a woman out of the group, with an­other man re­act­ing by hit­ting him twice on the head.

Two peo­ple were charged by po­lice with with dis­or­derly con­duct, and Beritela was sub­se­quently fined on July 18 for $1,500, ac­cord­ing to liquor board records.

Li­censed whole­saler rule

On March 13, the board fined Cap­tain Cork Liquors and Restau­rant at 2843 Eastern Blvd. in Mid­dle River $1,000 for vi­o­lat­ing the state’s re­quire­ment that al­co­hol must be pur­chased from a li­censed whole­saler.

An in­spec­tor form the state Comptroller’s of­fice, which col­lects sales taxes, paid a rou­tine visit on Jan. 10 and spot­ted five cases of gin and vodka with the ship­ping la­bels torn off or cut out with a box cut­ter.

To the in­spec­tor that was an in­di­ca­tion that the li- quor, val­ued at $1,402 re­tail price, had not been legally pur­chased.

When the own­ers were not able to im­me­di­ately pro­duce in­voices show­ing where the 90 bot­tles of vodka and gin had come from, the in­spec­tor con­fis­cated the cases.

At the hear­ing, an at­tor­ney for the li­cense hold­ers said the man­ager was sus­pected of vi­o­lat­ing the rule and said that the man­ager has since been ter­mi­nated.

Also al­leged to vi­o­lated the rule was Pop’s Tav­ern at 4343 North Point Boule­vard in Dun­dalk but on a much smaller scale.

Af­ter a rou­tine visit on Dec. 29, 2016, an in­spec­tor from the state Comptroller’s of­fice re­ported that he ob­served that two bot­tles of vodka, a bot­tle of amaretto and a bot­tle of schnapps had par­tial price stick­ers on them, an in­di­ca­tion they were not pur­chased from a whole­saler.

Ac­cord­ing to re­port, he con­fis­cated the bot­tles val­ued at $39.86 re­tail cost and took them to Annapolis.

At the hear­ing, the board fined the own­ers $250 but waived the fine, cit­ing Pop’s Tav­ern long good record and long his­tory in the com­mu­nity.

The bar was the sec­ond bar in Bal­ti­more County to be li­censed af­ter Pro­hi­bi­tion was re­pealed in 1933, ac­cord­ing to liquor board records. It is thought to be the old­est con­tin­u­ously li­censed tav­ern in the coun- ty.

In two other cases, the board dis­missed dis­tur­bance-re­lated Noise and Music al­le­ga­tions against the South Mar­lyn Inn in Es­sex and the S&S Lounge in Over­lea.

On Jan. 28, shortly af­ter mid­night, 8 to 10 of­fi­cers re­sponded a call from the South Mar­lyn Inn about a fight in the park­ing lot in­volv­ing a weapon.

Two black men had a drink in bar and as they were leav­ing, walked past a car in the park­ing lot with sev­eral men and a woman nearby, ac­cord­ing to the po­lice re­port.

A white man in the car re­port­edly said ,“What are you look­ing at nig­ger?,” ac­cord­ing to the re­port. re­port. The man got out of the car, picked up an ob­ject off the ground and threw it at the two men.

The two black men re­sponded by get­ting two wooden shovel han­dles out of a car to de­fend them- selves, while the white man was given a hatchet-like weapon by a man at the scene.

The ac­count is ver­i­fied by video tapes of the in­ci­dents, ac­cord­ing to po­lice. The ar owner also stated that the two black men were in­tox­i­cated when the walked out of the bar into the park­ing lot.

The board con­cluded that the bar owner had done noth­ing that re­sulted in the in­ci­dent in the park­ing lot.

Noise and Music al­le­ga­tions were also dis­missed against the S&S Lounge at 6900 Be­lair Road near the city line in Over­lea.

On Jan. 14, po­lice re­sponded to a large noisy crowd cross­ing the near the lounge. An of­fi­cers re­po­erted a fight in the street and some­one was hold­ing back an­other per­son, but there was no ev­i­dence that the be­hav­ior was linked to the bar.

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