A Hummel Report Investigation
A Woonsocket bar has been a magnet for trouble over the past year, with repeated fights and one patron pulling a gun in the parking lot. A neighbor who’s captured much of it on her home’s surveillance cameras wants to know why it’s taken the city months to crack down. Jim Hummel sits down with her - and the city’s police chief to talk about the travel of the case.
Tucked in between a street full of multi-family homes, the one-story building in the north end of Woonsocket had a history of being a friendly, neighborhood bar - which coexisted well with the homes surrounding it.
But over the past year, under a different owner, Rick’s Bar and Grille has evolved into a magnet for trouble - with police responding to calls for fights, loud music, assault, and allegations of underage drinking.
Martin: ``We found hypodermic needles on the grass…’’
Jean Martin and her husband have had a box seat for all of the problems. The Martins’ house is a stone’s throw from the back door of the bar, where patrons often spill out at or before closing time and mingle in the parking lot. Jean Martin sees - and hears - it all from her bedroom window.
Martin, who years ago, worked at the bar when it was called Bolducs said the crowd has changed dramatically, attracting a rougher element. Her complaints to the city, she says, have fueled some patrons’ anger toward her.
Martin: ``You couldn’t go outside I couldn’t sit outside without people making comments up at my deck to me.’’
So a year ago Martin installed multiple security cameras that have taken in all of the action - and at times it’s not been pretty.
Fights, cars spinning their wheels outside her bedroom window and people urinating in the parking lot, plus chaotic scenes just yards from her property.
But it’s this video, taken last November 30th that Martin says took the problems to another level: a man pulling out a gun and pointing it at several people in the parking lot. The bar’s owner, Richard Dias, is seen trying to disperse the crowd. But he never calls police, as required by the city.