Chief Tucker Calls Situation at Bangkok Paradise 'Out Of Control'

Licensing Board considers allegations of underage drinking and large, unruly crowds.


Chief of Police Paul Tucker, accompanied by one of his captains and three patrolman, told members of the Salem Licensing Board last Tuesday that "my officers feel this situation with Bangkok Paradise is out of control. As Chief I cannot let this stand."

Tucker's comments came after a 40-minute hearing during which members of the Salem Police detailed an incident that occurred just before 1 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 1 outside of Bangkok Paradise located at 90 Washington St. During that incident, a 20-year old woman, arrested for disorderly conduct claimed to have been served two beers inside the establishment, according to police.

Also present at the meeting were Jesus Franco of Franco-Paradise Inc. who holds the license for Bangkok Paradise. Franco brought with him his attorney,  J.P. Story and two members of his security team, who were present on the morning in question.

Franco, through his attorney, said that the underage woman "was never seen inside Bangkok Paradise." He also added that, "the events in question are not legally sanctionable."

The four police officers all testified as to the size and unruliness of the crowd that morning. They agreed that there were between 75 - 100 people milling about on the sidewalk in front of the business, across the street and directly in the street impeding traffic and creating a "loud and combative atmosphere".

Captain Brian Gilligan, who was on a scheduled walking patrol that morning, said that, "staff from the Bangkok expressed concerns prior to the incident about the size and tone of the crowd." He also stated that, "they are grossly understaffed to deal with the crowd they draw." He further added, "this is a serious safety hazard to traffic and the public."

All four police officers were asked if they had actually seen the underage woman inside the establishment. Capt. Gilligan was the only one to say that he had seen her inside of the Bangkok Paradise. 

Licensing Board members John Casey and Rick Lee questioned Franco as to his staffing levels and how much training is provided to their security personnel. Lee asked if they were drawing an out of town crowd and Casey questioned Franco as to how much he is involved with the nightly operation of his business.

Casey stated clearly that, "you need to look at our history; I can name past trouble spots in Salem that you wouldn't recognize because they are no longer around."

After Chief Tucker spoke, the board moved to continue the matter until the next meeting on Oct. 15. Until then, investigation into this incident and a further incident on Sept. 29 will continue. 

After the meeting, Franco's attorney spoke with Patch and said: " Mr. Franco is taking continued steps to make an enjoyable and safe atmosphere for his patrons."

Truth Speaks October 16, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Mr. R Lim, You were going to bring the biggest names in EDM to Salem? Hmm, and you were going to do it at Bangkok Paradise? Hmm. Lets try and put this into perspective, your talking about bringing extremely popular djs and putting them into a building that has a max capacity of 100-150 people? You wouldn't be able to sell tickets at a high enough price to entice these people because you wouldnt be able to draw the crowds needed due to the max capacity being so low. And if you want to talk about bringing the biggest EDM name to Salem look at what Barstool did last year at Rockafellas. A dj group by the name of White Panda with over 84,000 likes on Facebook (http://boston.barstoolsports.com/m/featured/the-countdown-to-barstools-maiden-voyage-to-the-north-shore-with-white-panda-at-rockafellas-is-on/). So are you still trying to say that you were going to bring the biggest EDM names to Salem ever?
William Legault October 16, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Well Mr R Lim it was not a stab at your intelligence. It was a statement made in response to your post where you made a declaratory statement that displayed a lack of awareness as to the history of music and entertainment in Salem. It was, I admit, a shot at your failure to research a subject prior to making such a statement.
R Lim October 16, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Lol think what you want and insult me all you want... We've done work in Boston, Cambridge, NYC, CT, NH and our professional network stems beyond cali to the west and the UK to the east. Salem worked because it was a place that had NOTHING! Its called a Niche market. We turned that place in to a Night Club every Wednesday night by bringing in over 6K worth of lighting, extra sound, professional equipment, and pro DJs. The Bangkok Paradise is NOT our only business venture,
R Lim October 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM
I think what you consider to be nightlife is a bit different from my own perspective. Most people in my demographic wouldn't consider a 30 y/o band, yoyoma, or a jazz festival as a being a night out on the town.
R Lim October 17, 2012 at 05:37 AM
Truth Speaks... you clearly have no idea how bookings work. Most major DJ's will jump at the opportunity to play Halloween Night in Salem... especially in an intimate venue. We had the DJs booked... and yes the DJs we booked far surpassed the Caliber of DJ White Panda is. Like I said before, we're talking real EDM not Mashup DJs.


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