Board issued a warning to the club for allowing an armed employee without board permission, but acknowledged it has stepped up its training.
A bouncer who had worked at Centerfolds on Lagrange Street for ten years lost his loaded gun one May night when he put it in a backpack and dropped that by the main stage, then went to the men's room.
And then he lost his license to carry when police found the gun, loaded, with no locking mechanism, in the possession of a man beating a woman outside South Station. Next to go was his job, since Centerfolds doesn't allow employees to bring guns into work.
Police and a lawyer for one of Boston's two remaining strip clubs detailed what happened on May 14 at a Boston Licensing Board hearing. on a citation to the place for allowing an employee to work while packing without board permission. The board could vote Thursday whether to sanction the club.
According to police, near closing time, the bouncer took off his holstered, loaded Smith & Wesson 9-mm handgun and put it in his backpack, along with his wallet and other belongings, then left it near the stage. He went to the men's room, then returned to help escort out employees. When done with that, about 15 minutes after he had departed for the men's room, he realized his backpack was missing.
Rather than calling police, he set out to make phone calls to try to find out who might have taken it. Finally, around 1:30 p.m., he called District A-1 to report his missing gun.
Around 9:20 p.m., police responded to 199 Summer St., in front of South Station, on a report of a beating - where they found a man beating a woman. Police arrested that man for domestic assault and battery at first, then for unlawful possession of a firearm after they found him with what turned out to be the bouncer's backpack, still containing the loaded gun and wallet.
In quick order, the bouncer had his license to carry, issued out of Peabody, revoked, for improper storage of a firearm, and then he lost his job, because Centerfolds has a strict no-gun policy, BPD Det. John Walsh and club attorney John Connell said.
"Nobody knew he had this weapon with him in the backpack," Connell said.
The club has "a zero tolerance policy with respect to weapons," Connell said, adding, "even if he has the right (to carry), he is not authorized to bring a weapon onto the premises." Even with a license, Boston bouncers can't bring guns into work without permission from the licensing board, which Centerfolds does not have.
"He thought he was allowed to [bring it to work] because he did have a license to carry," BPD Det. John Walsh said.
Connell said that after the incident, management retrained staff - and made it clear no guns under no circumstances. The bouncer was fired.
"We don't expect to ever be here again on this sort of matter," he said.