A man who ripped his shirt off as he was being escorted out of a Theater District club and vowed to take care of the guys he'd been arguing with waited around outside - only to find himself beaten to the ground and stomped when they were joined by more men, in an attack that ended only after police sprayed the scrum with pepper spray twice.
At a Boston Licensing Board hearing this morning, police and managers at Venu, 100 Warrenton St., described what turned into a serious closing-time beatdown at Warrenton and Stuart streets on Nov. 24:
A guy, roughly 6'4" and 280 lbs. turned "aggressive" towards a couple of other patrons, neither more than 5'9" and began arguing with them. Club security officers rushed over and told him it was time to leave. He agreed to go, but as he was being led downstairs, he ripped his shirt off and told them, "wait to see what happened outside," a club manager said. The man then paced outside, across the street a few times and left, a club manager said, adding his argument opponents were allowed to stay because the club has learned from experience that if both sides are let out at the same time, there can be trouble.
But as the club started emptying out around 1:50 a.m., the man, still shirtless, reappeared. The two men he'd been arguing with exited. They were joined by four to six acquaintances. The shirtless man and the group met and a fight started and the larger man proved no match for the surrounding group of shorter men - they quickly shoved him to the ground and began kicking him as he lay on the ground, now with his hands protecting his face.
Two Boston cops, stationed a short distance away as part of a regular Theater District closing-time patrol, saw the fight and rushed over.
One of the officers told the board he ordered the men to stop immediately and move away. They refused and kept attacking the man. The officer told them he'd spray them with pepper spray. They kept kicking. "OC, OC, OC!" he yelled and sprayed them with the noxious liquid three times. They ignored that and kept kicking the man. He sprayed them again. This time it worked - the men ran away, although one gave one last kick to the victim's head, he said.
The officer said he grabbed that man and arrested him on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon - his shod foot.
The licensing board decides Thursday whether the bar could have done anything to prevent the fight and, if so, whether it merits any punishment.