Punished for knifing incident, Broad Street Tap closes for a day

Punished for knifing incident, Broad Street Tap closes for a day

CUMBERLAND - The Broad Street Tap stabbing incident of March 4 was finally resolved last Wednesday when Town Council members imposed a one-day license suspension - then let the owner, Steven Seagrave, choose when he'd prefer to give up a day's receipts.

Seagrave picked this past Monday, Oct. 7, admitting when questioned by Councilor Art Lambi that Mondays are slower and he generally shuts his doors around 10 p.m.

Councilors, sitting as the Board of License Commissioners under the chairmanship of Bill Murray, reviewed the incident in an informal hearing on Oct. 2 that did not include testimony from responding police officers.

Instead, Chief John Desmarais was there to tell them he felt the bartender that night had not responded quickly enough to rumblings of a fight.

While Seagrave said his bartender acted appropriately, Desmarais suggested the knifing might have been avoided if police were involved at the first signs of trouble.

According to the police report, police officers arrived at the Broad Street Tap at 10:45 p.m. to find Daniel Loynds of Pawtucket, 39, bleeding from nine stab wounds to his back.

Arrested were Shawn Christopher Plunkett, 21, of Broad Street, who was charged with felony assault and is awaiting disposition of his case.

Clarence Mowry, 33, of Woonsocket, also awaiting trial, was charged with conspiracy felony and simple assault. According to the report, they and Loynds got into "a heated argument" inside the bar, then the suspects followed the victim outside where the fight continued and a knife was pulled.

Seagraves told councilors last week the suspects were not regulars, had arrived just before closing and had not been over-served that night.

"They tracked him down," Seagraves said of Plunkett's and Mowry's alleged intentions toward Loynds. "It could have happened in the parking lot of the Stop & Shop."

It was Councilor Jeffrey Kearns who asked the chief for his opinion.

Said the chief, "I believe the bartender possibly missed some cues that something was about to happen. The bartender should have called when she first saw something was about to happen, not when the man walked back in with nine stab wounds."

He noted that the bartender was reluctant to give a statement "for fear of retaliation."

He added, "Granted the liquor business is a tough business to run, but we do not want our community to turn out like other communities."

Desmarais noted that in 2011 Seagrave was issued a "stern warning," also at his request, following a fight inside the bar.

In that case, officers found a man and a woman both bleeding from wounds. Three men in the parking lot were stopped and eventually all arrested, with two charged with felony assault. Witnesses say the fight, which began with a broken bottle and also involved mace and a knife, began with racial taunts.

This last hearing was one that Murray had attempted to avoid, telling The Breeze and commissioners in September that he'd held a series of meetings with Seagrave in an effort to avoid economic damage to a local business while satisfying some neighborhood complaints about this barroom at 433 Broad St.

Said Murray, "Mr. Seagrave has been nothing but cooperative in every turn we've made."

Murray had said Seagrave planned to upgrade the bar to a sports tavern to attract a new clientele, but during Wednesday's hearing he indicated that is under consideration only.

The council skipped the formal hearing when Seagrave agreed not to appeal the one-day suspension.

Lambi voted no on the Monday suspension after learning the bar is typically open only 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. that day.