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Home Video State suspends Milo’s liquor license after bar altercation goes viral

State suspends Milo’s liquor license after bar altercation goes viral

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The state Liquor Authority has suspended Milo’s Cantina’s liquor license following a violent altercation captured in a viral video.

And following an investigation into the incident, the liquor authority found the bouncer in the video is not a licensed security guard and the bar’s application with the liquor authority said it would not employ security personnel.

Milo’s Cantina was charged by the liquor authority with operating a disorderly premises, failure to supervise and employing unlicensed security guards. The suspension means no alcohol can be sold or consumed at the cantina until the order is lifted.

Here’s what the viral video shows 

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Milo’s Cantina on Main Street in Poughkeepsie on Jan. 6, 2018. (Photo: Patrick Oehler/Poughkeepsie Journal)

A video published to YouTube on June 2 appears to show a bouncer at the City of Poughkeepsie bar putting a customer, Mike Boyce, into a chokehold before slamming him to the ground. City police responded to reports of the incident at a little before midnight on May 31 and collected interviews with the different parties who would later appear in the video.

Lisa Ogden, deputy counsel with the state Liquor Authority, condemned the bar staff’s actions in the video.

“The video captures a disturbing scene which shows the very person whose job it is to prevent these kinds of incidents, committing an assault,” she said. “The actions of this bar’s manager, or lack thereof, are equally problematic. Rather than take control the situation, she simply locked the door and idly looked on as her bouncer slammed a patron onto the floor, held him in a chokehold and proceeded to pummel him on the ground. The SLA will take immediate action against any licensee whose employees actions threaten the safety of their patrons.”

Attorney Anthony Cillis of Jonna Spilbor Law, which is representing Milo’s Cantina, did not return calls requesting comment on the suspension.

How long will the suspension last? 

The suspension will remain in effect until the state Liquor Authority or a court determines otherwise. Milo’s Cantina is entitled to an expedited hearing before an administrative law judge.

Owner Jeremy Phillips told the liquor authority that Boyce threatened the bouncer with a knife, dumped shots on the bar, used foul language and acted obnoxiously, per a release from the liquor authority.

Phillips told the liquor authority the viral video was edited to remove the bouncer yelling that the patron had a knife. He said security cameras show the bouncer taking a knife from Boyce, but no video was turned over to the liquor authority.

Boyce, a tattoo artist who is also the owner of Queen City Tattoo, initially declined to proceed with criminal charges, police said. But last week he told the Journal he hired attorney Joseph O’Connor of Mainetti, Mainetti and O’Connor. The lawyer said he hopes to work with police to give them “information that will be sufficient enough to press a whole number of charges.”

Milo’s Cantina viral video of bar altercation:

POLICE REACTION: Milo’s Cantina viral video shows effect social media can have on investigations

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION: Investigation into Milo’s Cantina bouncer brawl dropped, victim declines criminal charges

EARLY STORY: Police are investigating viral video of bar altercation

Geoffrey Wilson: gwilson@poughkeepsiejournal.com; 845-437-4882; Twitter: Geoff_LW

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