Boston mayor to ban booze?

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  1. jacs

    jacs I'd Hit It

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    Boston mayor weighs alcohol limits after death

    Greg Sukiennik / Associated Press

    BOSTON (AP) - Mayor Thomas Menino said he was considering banning alcohol sales near Fenway Park during the World Series, following rowdy celebrations of the Red Sox's league championship that turned deadly when a police officer shot a projectile into a crowd.

    Menino planned to meet with bar and nightclub owners Friday and also said he would press colleges to expel students found guilty of criminal conduct in the melee.

    "Since people won't accept responsibility, I, as mayor, will take it into my own hands," Menino said.

    Emerson College student Victoria Snelgrove, 21, died Thursday, hours after being hit in the eye with what was designed to be a non-lethal projectile that would douse the target with a pepper-like spray. Her father expressed outrage at the city's response to her death.

    Witnesses said Snelgrove was standing outside the ballpark when a reveler threw a bottle at a mounted police officer. Another officer fired the plastic, pepper-spray filled balls into the crowd, hitting Snelgrove.

    Fifteen other people, including a police officer, suffered minor injuries in Boston's Kenmore Square neighborhood near Fenway Park after thousands of baseball fans spilled onto the streets to celebrate the Red Sox triumph Wednesday night at New York's Yankee Stadium. Small fires were set and fights broke out. Boston police reported eight arrests, mostly for disorderly conduct.

    Menino said that to avoid a repeat of the rowdiness in his city, he was considering imposing the alcohol-sales ban through a state law never before used in Boston. The law lets him ban sale or distribution of alcohol "in cases of riot or great public excitement."

    He said he may also ask bar and restaurant operators not to let television stations broadcast live scenes from inside their establishments during games, as at least one station did Wednesday.

    Peter Martineau, manager of Boston Beer Works, across from Fenway Park, expressed sympathy for Snelgrove's family but blamed area college students for causing the problems.

    "They all want to come out to the Fenway for the excitement," he said. "I don't think the remedy is banning bars and restaurants from serving liquor. If you can't serve beer or anything, why would people come out? It's a beer works."

    Officials said the projectiles are not supposed to be aimed at people's faces, and Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole said she would "firmly and emphatically accept responsibilities for any errors."

    But, she continued, "I also condemn in the harshest words possible the actions of the punks (Wednesday) night who turned our city's victory into an opportunity for violence and mindless destruction."

    The student's father, Rick Snelgrove, said angrily that she did nothing wrong. Standing outside the family home, he held up a photograph of his smiling daughter.

    "What happened to her should not happen to any American citizen going to any type of game, no matter what," he said. "She loved the Red Sox. She went in to celebrate with friends. She was a bystander. She was out of the way, but she still got shot. Awful things happen to good people. My daughter was an exceptional person."

    City officials had announced there would be a heavy police presence in Kenmore Square for the history-making victory by the Red Sox, who came back from 3 games to zero deficit to advance to the World Series.

    The city had been caught understaffed when riots broke out after the New England Patriots' Super Bowl win Feb. 1, when one person was killed and another critically injured by a vehicle that plowed into revelers.

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