At their meeting Monday night, members of the Salem Licensing Board detailed a bizarre and allegedly violent after-hours dispute at Brisas del Caribe in January that earned the restaurant's owner a three-day license suspension.
For Monday's hearing, Salem Det. Sgt. James Page requested that Patrolman Roberson Trancoso, a witness to the alleged incident, be in attendance so he could recount exactly what happened that night.
According to Trancoso, at 2:51 a.m. on Jan. 13, he and Det. Dan Tucker were working the night shift in The Point neighborhood when they received word that an open-line 911 call had been made from the Lafayette Street restaurant.
"That's an emergency 911 call where someone calls from a location and all the dispatcher could hear were the people on the other side of the line but they weren't communicating with the dispatcher," Tracoso said.
When officers arrived on scene, Trancoso said the lights were on inside the establishment and they could hear people screaming and yelling from the street.
Despite pounding on the front door repeatedly, Trancoso said the people screaming inside refused to open up. He later added that he didn't buy the excuse that they couldn't hear him knocking.
"There was no doubt in my mind that they could hear me," Trancoso said.
After unsuccessfully trying to kick the door in, Trancoso said officers asked firefighters on scene to use a specialized tool to crack open the door.
Inside they reportedly found the owner of the restaurant, Rosa Hernandez, and Adriano Arias, 57, of 61 Lawrence St., Salem, inebriated and engaged in a heated dispute.
Arias was later arrested on charges of domestic assault and battery and resisting arrest after officers reportedly discovered injuries to Hernandez's face and chest.
Board members penalized Brisas del Caribe with six separate violations:
- A customer (Arias) on the premise after closing time.
- An employee (Hernandez) on the premise after closing time.
- A customer (Arias) consuming alcohol on the premise after closing time.
- An employee (Hernandez) consuming alcohol on the premise after closing time.
- An illegal activity on licensed property (domestic assault and battery).
- An illegal activity on licensed property (resisting arrest).
The first three violations earned Brisas del Caribe a written warning with a one-day license suspension pending for six months.
As a result of the final three violations, board members unanimously approved a three-day suspension to be served on March 25, 26 and 27. On those dates the restaurant must lock its doors and turn over its liquor license.
Page also noted that Hernandez will have to return to face a new complaint filed by police officers who reportedly found both Hernandez and Arias in the building at 2:12 a.m. on March 2.
What do you think about the board's ruling? Too stiff? Too Lenient?
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