Hey, there! Log in / Register

A wad of cash, a slap in the face, a man shot in the head and the nightclub that's pissing off Allston residents and police

Boston Police report their investigation into a shooting outside the Garage club on Linden Street in Allston on Sept. 18 has been hampered by the fact that the victim, recovering from getting shot in the head, is refusing to cooperate with them.

At a Boston Licensing Board hearing this morning, officers from District D-14 and Allston/Brighton City Councilor Mark Ciommo said they and their constituents are getting fed up with a steady stream of problems at the Garage, part of the old Russian Benevolent Society complex that include rowdy customers and major parking issues on the blocks around the club.

In fact, police told the board, D-14 officers had just finished writing out 50 parking tickets for Garage patrons that night when the man was shot around the corner on Pratt Street shortly after 10 p.m.

Curt Bletzer, attorney for the Garage, acknowledged a connection between the victim and the club: Not long before the shooting, club doormen had denied him access to the place, even after he flashed "a wad of cash" in an attempt to buy his way in. As he was arguing with the doormen, Bletzer said, a woman joined him and took him away - after she slapped him in the head. The two walked down Linden and turned onto Pratt, where doormen lost sight of him.

Moments later, he was shot.

"We don't know what happened on Pratt," Bletzer said. D-14 Sgt. Det. Jose Lozano said the victim is remaining tight lipped with police.

Bletzer said that following the shooting, the club has taken several steps, including firing the manager on duty that night and banning the promoter who had arranged that night's entertainment. He said club managers want to work with police to deal with overall issues and parking in particular.

Ciommo and police said the club will have plenty to talk about. Ciommo said just this year, police have answered 66 complaints related to 20 Linden St. and that the club has become "very stressful" for both police and nearby residents.

Police said the Garage is now the first thing residents bring up at every community meeting they attend - and said Sunday nights are the worst, especially for parking. They said firefighters responding to a three-alarm fire in June were hampered by Garage patrons parked in front of hydrants and in crosswalks.

Bletzer said he felt it unfair to blame the Garage for all of Linden Street's issues because the building also houses a daycare and because the street is a major shortcut for people leaving other Allston bars heading to the turnpike.

Lozano responded that the vast majority of the complaints are about the Garage specifically, not about the daycare or other bar goers passing through.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

But WHY do we have a Boston Licensing Board?! And a two-man BPD Licensing Unit?!?! And blah blah blah?!

Oh right, cause of clubs like this.

up
Voting closed 0

Now see, if you didn't have a cap on licenses, then somebody could open a nightclub in a much better location, and then people would go there instead, and this place at the end of Linden St. would go out of business, because people have a finite amount of money to spend on liquor and playing gangster for three hours on a weekend night.

But instead, we have a cap on licenses, so now, there's 50 cars that need to be ticketed, because there are so few other nightclubs. Am I the only person who pictures Yosemite Sam when Gaffin writes about how "very upset" cops and politicians are about these things? Oh my God, they have to do their jobs! The horror!

As for the shooting victim, tell him "fine, don't cooperate now, you waive police protection for the rest of your life. We'll put your name and address in a file. Don't ever call 911 again." Let's see if that gets him talking. Maybe he can use his "wad of cash" to hire a bodyguard. What a douchebag.

up
Voting closed 0

They already had a license and probably wouldn't have had much trouble transferring it to another location in the neighborhood.

The question you might want to be asking is how in the world did a benign, obscure social club for elderly Russian emigres transmogrify into a nightclub outside of which people get shot.

up
Voting closed 0

http://www.universalhub.com/crime/20160918/person-shot-head-allston#comm...

I mean, we don't make any money when a liquor license is given out because we just charge a fee that's nowhere near market value. And we don't revoke these licenses quickly at all when a club clearly lies to our faces and continually creates a public nuisance. We have all the problems of a limited liquor license pool AND none of the solutions it brings.

up
Voting closed 0

I know that they have a license, and that licenses are transferable. What does that have to do with anything I said about free market principles?

And to answer your question: Because people who want to play gangster have money too. The business doesn't discriminate. Heck, I'll answer your question with another question: Why is somebody getting shot the club's fault? Did they circulate a flyer which read "free drinks for gun owners, so show up with a gun?"

Are you surprised in a state where people frequently walk and don't get in trouble for their crimes that criminals continue to commit crimes? Maybe blame criminals for being (expletives) once in a while? Big world outside of your Roslindale bubble, guy. I've lived Allston late at night. You're smarter than me about Boston as a whole, but I'm claiming intellectual superiority on this one.

up
Voting closed 0

I only lived there (or just barely over the line in Brighton) for 10 or 11 years. So now that we have our Allston street cred situation out of the way ...

There is a good argument to be made for getting rid of the cap on liquor licenses in Boston. It's way past time the legislature stops infantilizing Boston, for one thing - we're big kids now, with professional police and everything and can figure things out on our own.

I'm just not sure this particular hill is the one you want to die on, because this particular club would probably have problems no matter where it was. Oh, I know, maybe we can put it down in the Theater District!

You don't see any issues with the fact the guy was shot right after getting kicked out of the club? There may not be any link, but I'm not sure why you're so opposed to the city at least exploring whether the club could have done anything, especially given the other complaints police have received over the past year or so (note that the licensing board has not issued a ruling, they do that on Thursday; they've held other clubs blameless for shootings outside their doors in the past).

up
Voting closed 0

There's definitely questions to be asked of the club and due diligence to be done. But the club is the symptom, not the disease. I respect their right to sell a legal substance.

I also think, as much as I hate government intervention, that there should be alcohol consumption licenses. This stuff is still poison in the wrong hands.

up
Voting closed 0

Maybe it's because it's the law. When they sign the liquor lincense, that's one of the responsibilities they take on. It they don't like it, they don't have to sign for a liquor license. Go open a club in Canada or some other state where the laws don't bounce in that direction. Ya, I wonder how a place who is inviting people to "play gangster for three hours" should be held accountable. Was it a cap gun with rubber bullets or was the play gangster using a real gun?

up
Voting closed 0

For explaining the rule of law to me.

up
Voting closed 0

You asked.

up
Voting closed 0

The patron was then shot on a PUBLIC STREET away from the bar. But let's hold the bar accountable anyway so the Licensing Board can justify their existence, even though the bar's license is not relevant to the circumstances of this case.

As for the illegal parking, perhaps if BPD TOWED the cars instead of looking for another excuse to enhance the City's revenue, the patrons might think twice before parking there again.

up
Voting closed 0

I was on a jury for a trial involving a DUI for someone leaving The Garage. That place seems like a mess and I feel bad for the residents who have to deal with the violence from guns and drunks behind the wheel.

up
Voting closed 0

should be illegal

up
Voting closed 0

go google the names of the two heads of that Russian Benevolent society, and the word donations...

lot of campaigns receiving money from them

or take their names and use this: https://www.ocpf.us/Reports/SearchItems

up
Voting closed 0

I lived at 24 Linden St right on the other side of the parking lot for the past year. I can tell you that those Sunday nights especially are wild. Not sure whose idea it was to hold their rowdiest events on Sundays when people are trying to sleep, but every single time there was loud music being pumped out from cars in the parking lot, drunk people smoking cigarettes right outside our house, vomiting on the sidewalk, throwing trash everywhere, and stupid fights. We had to call the cops a bunch of times. Eventually they told us they'd be complaining directly to the manager of Garage rather than just rolling into the parking lot and flushing everyone out.

I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner, to be honest. I've personally witnessed 4-5 fights right around this time on Sunday nights.

Pretty glad I moved a couple blocks away in September.

up
Voting closed 0

Make any effort to tell the patrons to skedaddle at closing time?

up
Voting closed 0

Usually didn't see any staff at all clearing people out of the parking lot

up
Voting closed 0

Interesting to hear this from you, because 24 Linden is also owned by the Russian Benevolent Society (along with 8/10 Pratt.)

up
Voting closed 0

Bletzer said he felt it unfair to blame the Garage for all of Linden Street's issues because the building also houses a daycare and because the street is a major shortcut for people leaving other Allston bars heading to the turnpike.

That obviously accounts for most of the illegal parking in the area.

up
Voting closed 0

Yep, that daycare is jumping on Sunday nights.

up
Voting closed 0

"D-14 officers had just finished writing out 50 parking tickets for Garage patrons"

How exactly do they know where the drivers of these cars went after parking?

It's not like this club is the only business in the area. Plus there's all the residences -- people who live there are allowed to park illegally too.

I'm sure the police would love to be able to run your plates and then pull up your location on a map. But we're not there yet (even though almost everyone has a smartphone).

up
Voting closed 0

It's amazing to me that a place like this is allowed to keep their liquor license, which has proven to be nothing but a nuisance to the surrounding community, while low-key restaurants in Chinatown and other neighborhoods are denied licenses because there "isn't a public need." The liquor licensing system is so incredibly broken, it's not even funny anymore.

up
Voting closed 0

What they should lose is their location.

up
Voting closed 0