By Beth Treffeisen
J.J. Foley’s Café at 111-123 Berkeley St. in the South End was brought before Boston’s Licensing Board for violations including employee on patron (chocking, punching and kicking), failure to call the police, and serving a minor, at a violations hearing on Oct. 17.
Due to insufficient evidence J.J. Foley’s Café was let go with no violations from the Boston Licensing board after police could not show video evidence of employee staff physically harming a patron.
At the hearing, two stories emerged on what happened on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 9, in and in front of J.J. Foley’s Café. One was from the victim who filed the police report but was not present at the hearing, and the other was from the staff and owner of the popular pub.
As stated by Sgt. Detective John Conroy at the hearing, the police were first called at about 3:36 a.m. on Tuesday, September 12, at Tufts Medical Center. On arrival, the officer was directed to the victim and his family.
The victim stated that on September 9 at around 1 a.m. he got into J.J. Foley’s bar with his ID and ordered a shot of whiskey and drank it. Immediately after he got sick and vomited on the bars floor.
It was at this time that the victim said that two to three white males dressed in white and black t-shirts grabbed him and began to choke him. He was then dragged outside where the men proceeded to beat him up.
Afterwards, the victim was about to leave but soon realized his phone was still in the bar. He proceeded to bag on the door and windows in an attempt to get his phone back, accidentally breaking a windowpane. The men then came out of the bar and began to kick and punch him numerous times.
One of the suspects then grabbed the victim’s wallet and removed a credit card. The victim stated that the bar charged the credit card for $200 and took $150 in cash. The victim then fled the scene.
The victim stated that he went to a hospital for treatment on September 9 but left before any diagnosis. After informing his parents of the incident he was taken to a hospital in Quincy on September 11.
The hospital in Quincy said that victim had two lacerations on his liver as well as rib injuries. The victim was transferred from Quincy to Tufts Medical Center for further treatment.
On September 13, Sergeant Detective Joseph Conroy and Detective John Teixeira responded to Foley’s Café in the South End. On arrival, they met with manager Tony Crawford and conducted a licensed premise inspection and issued the violation for employee assault and battery on a patron.
After talking to staff, the detectives found out that the owner Patrick Foley was working the door the evening of the incident, and his son Mike Foley was at the bar along with two other bar tenders.
During the evening of September 9, Patrick Foley said he saw a man wearing a red shirt walking towards the front doorway of J.J. Foleys alone, looking a little banged up. After checking his I.D. he told him to go home. Foley said it was getting late so he stepped inside to help clear glasses from the tables.
At this point Foley stated that a man in a red shirt, the victim, snuck inside the bar behind two women who were smoking cigarettes outside. He proceeded to sit down and then immediately threw up. Staff members then went over and escorted him outside.
Foley said he was not served a drink because he was 20 years old and underage.
After the man in the red shirt was escorted outside Foley said he began to hear loud banging on the door. “It was like a switch went off,” said Foley.
After learning that the man was banging on the door because he forgot his phone inside, Foley said he told him he would look for it quickly but did not allow him back into the bar.
After a quick search didn’t find anything, Foley said he told the man to call back the next day to see if the staff found it while cleaning.
After, Foley reentered the bar and the victim broke the window. Foley went outside and told him, “If you break my window you’re going to have to pay for it,” and asked him to hand over his credit card.
Foley said he willingly handed over his credit card and then he asked a staff member to charge it for $200. He then gave it back to the victim who then proceeded to walk away.
Teixeria said that staff members cooperated with the police and allowed the police to take pictures of their hands and faces. There was no cuts or bruises that would have indicated a fight. In addition, when victim visited the police station, he did not identify any of the employees as the people who beat him up, but did identify Patrick Foley as the doorman.
The victim identified the two men who beat him up as white males wearing a white and black t-shirt with blue jeans. The dress code at Foley’s Café includes a white button down shirt with a tie. “It’s probably been that way over 100 years,” said Foley.
Teixeria said he tried to obtain video that showed the incident. The Empire Loan, the pawnshop on East Berkeley and Washington Streets, camera showed the front entrance of the bar.
“I rewound and watched the video multiple times,” said Teixeria. “It’s very grainy. You cannot see a conflict just some small figures.”
Teixeria said that later footage shows the victim walking down Washington Street, holding onto his side as if he was beaten up. He stops and rests on a parking meter when two guys wearing a white and black t-shirt walks up to him gesturing to see if he is ok.
The victim then attempts a punch the men, but they backed away and later got into an Uber.
Teixeria said an East Boston Savings Bank footage shows the same video and a transportation video camera on the corner of East Berkeley and Harrison Avenue, also shows a grainy video in front of J.J. Foley’s and he cannot make out if a fight occurred or not.
Chairman Christine Pulgini said that because there was not one clear picture or video of anyone striking a violation there was really nothing the Licensing Board could do.
The police are still investigating the incident.