The Boston Licensing Board could decide Thursday whether Howl at the Moon on High Street shares any of the blame for the way one of its patrons wound up in Fort Point Channel, from which he managed to climb out shortly before police found him between the Congress Street and Moakley bridges, wet, shivering and clad only in his underwear and one sock - several hours after he was booted from the bar.
The man told police he suspects he was roofied during a fifth-year high-school reunion party at Howl at the Moon on Nov. 27, because he said he does not remember anything after about 10:30 p.m. that night - about an hour after the party ended and about half an hour before he was asked to leave for appearing intoxicated. The man told police he suspected the last drink he had at the party may have been drugged; he took it from an unknown woman - possibly its intended target, he thinks.
At a licensing hearing this morning, however, BPD Det. Karl Dugal said a blood sample taken from the man at the local hospital to which he was brought showed no evidence of any drugs. Dugal said the man had admitted having six drinks that night - a pre-gaming beer and then two beers, two rums and Coke and a vodka and Red Bull at the open-bar party. The board held the hearing after police issued the bar a citation for the incident, citing "overservice of alcohol at open bar event."
After leaving the bar, he stuck around outside and got into a brief fight with some people waiting in line outside, police and bar managers told the board.
Shortly before 3:30 a.m., now Nov. 28, two Boston Police officers on patrol spotted him outside 470 Atlantic Ave., in a T-shirt, underpants and one sock, less than a half mile from Howl at the Moon. Officer Katie Murray said he told her and her partner he'd fallen into the harbor and had spent 20 minutes in the water before finally being able to get himself out. He said he had taken most of his clothes off to try to dry them off. "He was shivering and wet," Murray said.
Reading from a police report, Sgt. Det. William Gallagher said the man had attended the reunion party at Howl at the Moon, the party ended at 9:30 p.m., then he and some friends stayed on. Howl at the Moon co-owner Paul Holian said he was asked to leave around 11 p.m. because he appeared to be drunk, After responding to what Holian said was "quick, up and down, over with very quickly" fight outside, involving the man and some queued people, Holian said staffers lost sight of the man because it was a fairly busy night and they got back to business. Bar manager Arthur Lucas said somebody on staff called police at first sign of trouble in the line, because "we thought it was going to escalate larger than it was." He did not say if police responded to the call.
Police said the man's friends last spotted him around 2 a.m., still on High Street, as they got into an Uber and he stayed behind.
Holian, who was not present that night, said he had no idea anything had happened under the next morning, when both police and a member of the man's family called. He said he eventually wound up talking to the man's mother, the man himself and the man's father - even driving out to a suburb to meet with dad at his workplace.
"I'm a father myself and it's a concerning thing particularly what we hear about young men going into the harbor," Holian said.
Holian did not elaborate on whether he meant the alleged Smiley Face Killer, the urban legend about the guy who haunts the waterfront, drowning college-age men - who would actually have to be approaching 150 years of age at this point and who would also have to be drowning women and homeless people, except those alleged victims never seem to get much attention.