Officials at Montserrat Aspirers Community Center, 380 Washington St., told the Boston Licensing Board they've developed a detailed security plan to prevent a recurrence of an April melee that spun out of a 13-year-old's birthday party when word spread over social media and lots of kids who weren't invited showed up and then refused to leave.
At a hearing on Tuesday, police said they had to respond twice on the night of April 7 to break up rowdy, fighty teens, once inside and once outside. By the time it was all over, two teens were under arrest and a local police captain was nursing a fresh gouge mark on his face from where one of the teens had clawed him - and knocked his glasses off - a police detective told the board, adding three other officers were assaulted, one with spit by the same teen who clawed Capt. Robert Ciccolo and two others with fists.
Club President Lennox Lee told the board he had rented the hall out to a family for the birthday party and that he had limited attendance to the hall's maximum capacity of 40 people. The teens had four chaperones - all members of the celebrating teen's family. He said he refused to let any of the other teens in.
What happened was word of the party got out on social media and police responded to a report of 30 teens outside the hall trying to get in and getting into fights and screaming, Lee and Lt. Det. Stephen Meade told the board.
Officers managed to get the teens around the corner onto Bowdoin Street, where the crowd dispersed, but then the officers went inside and found more fighting, Meade said, reading from a police report on the incident. They'd mostly broken things up when a group of girls appeared to getting ready to fight. Ciccolo broke that up, but one of the girls began "to scream and flail about" Meade said. As a crowd gathered around him, the teen, 17, clawed at Ciccolo's face and spat in his general direction, missing him, but hitting a sergeant, Meade said.
Meanwhile, outside, a crowd of yelling teens in the mood to fight had gathered again. One male teen, 17, refused police orders to disperse and instead began calling them various insulting terms and vowing to beat them up, Meade said. When he went into a fighting stance, an officer moved in, but the kid used his left shoulder to slam into one officer's chest, knocking him off balance, Meade said. As other officers moved in to get him to the ground and cuffed, they were surrounded by other teens, who began punching them.
Meade said officers were eventually able to get the teen cuffed and into a cruiser to head to booking, even as other officers got the teens to disperse.
Lee and other Montserrat Aspirers board members said that because of the incident, they developed new security policies, one of which requires hall renters have to monitor social media to ensure parties are not advertised there. Officials said they will do likewise, and will cancel the contracts for any parties they do find being promoted by digital word of mouth.
Anybody who wants to rent the hall has to agree to pay for three security guards - a move that Lee said has led to a loss of business, because people don't have the money for that.
The board decides Thursday what action, if any, to take about the incident.