When a server at the Grand on Northern Avenue reported that one of the men at a table she was hosting had grabbed her buttocks and inserted a finger in her, her manager did not call the police or even kick them out. Instead, police detectives testified today - and the club acknowledged - the man said he would give the men "another chance" and let them stay and enjoy the Grey Goose vodka they'd ordered.
The attacker, one of a group of Irishmen who entered the bar shortly after midnight on Oct. 13, is likely back in his home country, and remains unidentified, Amy Boudreau, a detective in the BPD sexual-assault unit told the Boston Licensing Board at a hearing this morning.
The manager who let the men stay, however, was first suspended and then fired because of the incident, the bar's attorney, Kristen Scanlon, told the board.
The attacker, described as having a thick Irish accent and jelled back hair, had been sitting at a table-service table with several other men, all apparently from Ireland, for about 20 minutes when he "reached behind [the server], grabbed her buttocks and digitally penetrated her anus," Lt. Det. Stephen Meade said. He said the server immediately pulled away and demanded to see her boss. But when she told her manager what had just happened, Meade said, he told her "I'm giving them another chance" and did nothing. Instead, she walked out of the bar - and then reported the incident at the A-1 station downtown later that morning.
Chares Kane, director of security for Big Night Entertainment Group, which owns the Grand, said he was not notified about the incident until about the same time as the server was talking to a detective.
But he and Scanlon said the group took immediate steps: The manager in question was suspended and the company had a series of meetings to ensure something like this would never happen again. Managers were "reeducated" on not letting customers get away with that, while female workers had their own meeting with managers to get reassurances that the company "is 100% behind them," Scanlon said.
After a review of the night, they added, the manager who let the guys stay for another 15 minutes was fired. He had worked with the company for about five months.
But when Kane and Scanlon said the company told managers that any inappropriate conduct towards workers is grounds for immediate patron ejection, board member Liam Curran expressed frustration.
"The appropriate move here is to call police," he said. "I don't think ejection serves anything. This is not words. This is physical contact. That's a bright line: It's time to call police."
"I totally agree with you," Kane responded. He added that while the manager no longer has a job with Big Night Entertainment, the server remains employed at the Grand.
The board could decide Thursday whether the incident warrants any action against the club and if so, what. Possible actions range from finding no violation to issuing a warrant to suspending the club's liquor license for a specific number of days.