The owners of both Scoreboard Bar and the Rathskeller Pub were arrested Friday for charges ranging from unlawful sale of alcohol to reckless endangerment for falsely shouting “fire” in a crowded building.
According to Binghamton Police Chief Joe Zikuski, the owner of Scoreboard was ticketed for allegedly selling alcohol to persons under 21 inside the bar. The owner of the Rathskeller was ticketed for allegedly endangering the lives of his patrons by claiming there was a fire, according to Zikuski.
Upon arrival at Scoreboard Bar at 85 State St., officers entered and located underage students consuming alcohol.
Scoreboard owner Ty Fish and bartender Timothy Reardon were ticketed for “Unlawful Sale of Alcohol to Persons under age 21,” a Class A misdemeanor and violation of the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Law.
A number of underage people were also ticketed for consuming alcohol or possessing alcohol with intent to consume.
When asked about the status Fish’s license to sell alcohol, Zikuski said it would be up to the Alcohol Beverage Control Board.
According to Zikuski, as officers approached the Rathskeller Bar at 92-94 State St. on the same night, dozens of patrons were hurrying out of the bar, saying “fire.”
After an investigation, the Binghamton police discovered the owner of the pub, Andrew Urso, instructed the DJ to announce a fire in the building over the PA system, upon learning the police were en route.
“We all know from recent incidents, such as Black Friday, the results when there is a stampede,” Zikuski said. “I find this incident very concerning and am appalled that the owner of an establishment — especially the Rathskeller, which has a narrow stairway leading from its basement location — would endanger anyone in order to prevent arrest for underage drinking.”
Urso was charged with “Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree” and “Obstructing Governmental Administration,” both Class A misdemeanors.
According to Zikuski, checks on the bars are not unusual and they are each periodically checked in turn.
“We have a meeting with them every year,” Zikuski said. “There is not a warning given [beforehand]. They shouldn’t need one. In this particular case, there was word floating around that underage students were being served, but we check randomly.”
Fish and Urso were issued tickets to appear in City of Binghamton Court.
“I’m sure the Broome County District Attorney’s Office concurs with me on the seriousness of this incident and will take the appropriate action,” Zikuski said. “I hope the Alcohol Beverage Control Board will look at this as the serious matter it is and take the appropriate action, as well.”
Fish and Urso were unable to be reached for comment Monday.
— Rob Bellon contributed to this report.