Fusion 5 will serve a three-day liquor license suspension from Nov. 12-14 as a result of selling alcohol to an intoxicated person and twice serving alcohol after the 1 a.m. closing hour, according to Special Town Counsel Louis Cassis.
Foxborough Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Tuesday to suspend Fusion 5’s license for three days and bill the establishment with an administrative fee, which covers the cost of the public hearing.
Fusion 5 manager Falguni Janak Patel accepted the penalty and agreed he would not appeal the board’s decision to the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.
“[Patel] recognizes there was a failure on the nights in question and that the violation did occur,” Cassis said. “He is willing to take responsibility for the violation. I went over with him the town’s policy on aggressive punishment and he has no prior record. Based upon the fact that there were several different charges he agreed he would serve a three-day suspension.”
Cassis told selectmen the first violation of Fusion 5’s liquor license occurred on Sept. 21 around 3:30 a.m.
“A gentleman who was staying at [America’s Best Value Inn] complained he had been kicked out of the bar and was in the lobby apparently,” Cassis said. “[Foxborough] Police arrived at the lobby at 3:30 a.m. and spoke to the gentleman, who appeared to be highly intoxicated. He later blew a Breathalyzer at 0.13. He said he had been kicked out because he had a disagreement over a pool game.
“[The gentleman] produced [documentation] that [showed] his last drink was served to him at 2:22 a.m., which is after the closing hour of 1 a.m. obviously.
“[The gentleman] was told to go back to his hotel room and police went and talked to the bartender.”
Cassis said when police entered Fusion 5 to talk to the bartender; they observed another gentleman in the bar.
“It appeared there were glasses in front of [the gentleman] that were still cold to the touch and he had told police officers [he] had been drinking,” Cassis said. “The bartender was still on duty and she should have been closed up two-and-a-half hours prior to that.”
Making matters worse, when Foxborough Police were exiting Fusion 5, the gentleman who originally called to complain about being removed from the establishment had gotten in his car and was attempting to drive away.
“[Police] arrested him for OUI so the gentleman called the police to later be arrested, which I thought was rather ironic,” Cassis said.
Foxborough Police found Fusion 5 in violation of serving after hours again a week later, according to Cassis.
“Similar event but much earlier – 1:15 a.m.,” said Cassis. “The same police officers arrived at the parking lot and looked in the window and saw the same bartender and a gentleman at the bar. Police went in and again, they felt the drinks and they were cold to the touch. Bartender claimed she was cleaning up but police didn’t seem to believe that was the case.”
Cassis said even though there were multiple violations he suggested it should be considered a first offense because there have been no prior incidents reported at Fusion 5.
“This is altogether a first offense,” said Cassis. … “The whole idea is to tell someone [they’re] in trouble, [they’ve] done something wrong, don’t do it again. … [It’s] two offenses so it’s a second offense [but] problem is he has never been before [the board] or received a warning or received a one-day suspension so it should be characterized as a first offense. He hasn’t reoffended. That’s why it’s on the high end of the first offense.”
Cassis added Patel was apologetic for the violations.
“Mr. Patel went over this with me and realizes it is a vey serious event and is very sorry about what happened,” Cassis said. “I told him given the severity of what happened he was on the high end of a first offense, which would be three days [suspension].”
As for the employee responsible for the violations, Patel said she will either be terminated or work during the day.
“Either termination or putting her on a day shift so she’s not there at night,” Patel said.
Selectman Lynda Walsh suggested every employee at Fusion 5 take one of Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary’s alcohol programs.
“We take it pretty serious here,” Walsh said of liquor license violations. “I would suggest [Fusion 5] take advantage of the programs Chief O’Leary has for all its employees.”
During Fusion 5’s suspension it will not be allowed to serve alcohol but can still serve food. The suspension will also be included in Patel’s file as a first offense.
“Should there be anymore events it will go right to the second violation level,” said Town Manager Kevin Paicos, who applauded Foxborough Police for their work in regulating liquor licenses.
“Police make regular checks of all the establishments randomly all the time,” Paicos said. “That’s exactly how this occurred on two separate nights.
“Thank you to the officers involved and to Chief O’Leary. The citizens of the community and the board are very appreciative of the fact that our officers are being extremely vigilant on these liquor licenses and as the board knows there are a number of additional violations pending before you in the next few weeks. They are doing the job for the public out there and they deserve a pat on the back for their work.”