The Boston Liquor Licensing Board decided to indefinitely suspend the Sons of Boston's liquor license Thursday after a fatal stabbing on St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
The pub, located on Union Street, was already stripped of its entertainment license after one of its bouncers was charged in the deadly stabbing of a Marine veteran on Saturday, March 19.
The victim was identified the following Monday as 23-year-old Daniel Martinez of Illinois. That same day, the bouncer, Alvaro Omar Larrama, 39, of East Boston, turned himself in to police and was arraigned on a murder charge in Boston Municipal Court.
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Prosecutors said the Marine was visiting from Illinois when the bouncer refused to let him and his friend into the Sons of Boston, before following him down the street and stabbing him. The family of Martinez announced last week that they are planning to file a lawsuit against the establishment.
The pub's liquor license had been in full standing and the bar has remained open since the fatal stabbing. During a liquor license review hearing on Tuesday, officials discovered that the bar did not run a background check on the former bouncer and did not know he had a knife on him the night of the stabbing.
During another hearing Thursday, the city's Licensing Board found the pub was in violation of the terms of its license on six counts and suspended it. Chair Kathleen Joyce issued a scathing assessment of Sons of Boston management, noting that they had appeared before the Board at least twice since December for other incidents, and did not provide the requested security plan or implement training.
Management had seemingly no control over their own staff, Joyce said, and a “stunning lapse of judgement” when management did not call police after the fatal stabbing. Joyce alleged that security video showed a female employee brought Larrama a change of clothes before allowing him to leave the bar through a back door.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu weighed in on the situation Wednesday.
“Our city is a welcoming city, and we thrive on visits from residents across different neighborhoods from residents across the country," Wu said. "So we really want to ensure that we are taking swift action and understanding what happened here so that we can be very sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
What we know about the deadly stabbing
Boston police responded to a report of a stabbing on Union Street, which is just a short walk from Faneuil Hall, shortly before 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. Responding officers found the victim with life-threatening injuries, and he was taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead, police said.
The victim was identified the following Monday as 23-year-old Daniel Martinez of Illinois. The Suffolk District Attorney's Office said Martinez was a Marine veteran. His military personnel file confirms he served from September 2017 through September 2021.
Court documents said that Martinez died of a single stab wound to the right part of his chest.
The stabbing happened outside of Sons of Boston, a pub located at 19 Union St. Boston police yellow crime scene tape could be seen blocking off the street, with numerous evidence markers visible. The district attorney's office said Larrama worked as a bouncer at Sons of Boston.
According to court documents, surveillance video footage recovered from exterior cameras on Union Street corroborated witness accounts that Martinez and a friend had been attempting to gain entrance to Sons of Boston, where Larrama was working as a bouncer.
After Martinez and his friend were denied entry, there was an exchange of words between Martinez, his friend, and Larrama, court documents said. Surveillance footage showed that as Martinez and his friend began to walk away, Larrama began to follow them down Union Street. He was then seen running after Martinez with an unknown object in his right hand. Martinez then turned and faced Larrama, extending his left hand to block or fend off an attack. He then struck Larrama in the head with an aluminum beer bottle.
An altercation reportedly ensued, during which Larrama could be seen striking Martinez in the left chest two times, the second of which caused Martinez to grasp his chest with his left hand.
Several people then intervened and as Larrama was separated from the altercation he could be seen manipulating an unknown object with both of his hands in front of his body before appearing to place it in his right shorts pocket. Larrama was then led back into Sons of Boston by other staff, where he proceeded into the bar's basement, where he was captured on surveillance camera washing his hands and discarding the knit had and sweatshirt he had been wearing during the incident. He is then seen turning his T-shirt inside-out before fleeing out the rear exit of the bar.
More coverage of the deadly attack
The length of Union Street was blocked off to accommodate the crime scene investigation, and the bars in the area were shut down for the remainder of Saturday night.
The stabbing came on the night before the return of South Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade, with many out celebrating in the city.
NBC10 Boston spoke with a man who witnessed the aftermath of the stabbing, and he described a terrifying scene in which bystanders tried to save the victim, who was gravely injured.
“With all the celebrations, somebody had fallen over. There was a bit of a fight or something like that but we saw the young lad, he was lying on the floor and everybody was doing CPR on him. There was maybe five or six people around him pushing on his chest and it looked like as they were pushing down on him, the blood was coming out of his back," said the man, who said he has been visiting Boston from London for the past 20 years. "Somebody called for a nurse or a doctor...from one of the other bars and they came out and told everyone to make a space around, then next thing all the paramedics came.”