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'Rave'-ing mad

'Furious' Charette seeks suspension of 12 Crane liquor license

A function room at 12 Crane , above, was the site of massive “rave” party Saturday night which police busted. 12 Crane faces suspension of its liquor license after the incident in which five people were arrested on a wide range of charges, according to Police Chief Daniel Charette. Evidence of Saturday night’s “rave” party at 12 Crane lay strewn in the parking lot Sunday afternoon, below. Ryan Grannan-Doll. (click for larger version)
July 11, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Police busted a massive party Saturday at 12 Crane Street and arrested five people on a series of serious charges, including the owner's son, who was running what authorities called a "rave."

"I am furious," a frustrated Police Chief Daniel Charette said Sunday, July 11, several hours after officers shutdown a "rave" party held on the first floor of the Crane Street building. Charette estimated 400 people attended. Three were treated for injuries at the scene, while two were transported to Harrington Memorial Hospital for injuries, according to Fire Lt. Jason Cantara.

Charette has said he will ask that 12 Crane's liquor license be suspended. He also said he plans to recover the overtime costs, which he could not specify, required for the department's response.

An event production company called Tight Crew was selling tickets on its Web site for the event, which they billed as "Jungle Book," featuring music, a massage table, inflatable furniture and a full bar until 2 a.m.

No contact phone number is listed on the site, and a e-mail to a representative was not returned Sunday.

(click for larger version)
Police knew the event was being held, according to Charette, but were under the impression from organizers that it would be much tamer and legitimate.

In addition to the six Southbridge officers who responded, two Charlton Police officers and State Police assisted, according to Charette.

"We shut everything down at about 1 o'clock," Charette said.

While some details were still sketchy, officers made their first arrests at 10:22 p.m. when they detained Hannah Emery, 19, of Standish, Maine, and charged her with possession of a class B substance.

Police also nabbed John McCarthy, 20, of Pomfret Center, Conn., and charged him with the same offense as well as several others, including dealing cocaine and dealing drugs near a school.

McCarthy is the son of 12 Crane owner Gabriel McCarthy.

Police arrested several others later in the night.

Reached by phone Sunday, Gabrie McCarthy acknowledged an incident had occurred with a group that had rented the space.

"I actually don't know what happened down there," he said.

McCarthy said the business was closed until today, when it is scheduled to reopen. A sign on the door Sunday said it had been closed since Wednesday, June 30. McCarthy said the business closed because the summer season is typically slow and he wanted to give employees time off. Pressed for more information, he said he would look into the incident. He did not return another message later Sunday.

Despite not returning calls, a post on Tight Crew's Web site said it was committed to holding safe events.

"We specialize in electronic dance music events in safe, friendly and unique environments. Security staff is always on hand to ensure the safety of our patrons. We have a strict zero tolerance policy toward drug use and violence," it reads.

As for the business's future, Liquor Licensing Board Chairman Rinaldo Bernadone said he only learned of the incident from a reporter and that he would to schedule a hearing for the business two weeks in advance. The business could face fines as well.

"I have all the confidence in the board they will come to the right decision," Bernadone said.

Charette could barely contain his anger Sunday as he described what led up to the incident. The chief said Gabriel McCarthy told him two months ago that the Tight Crew wanted to hold the party there, but the Charette said he told him it was a bad idea.

"I warned Gabe about these groups. I told him they are ridiculous," he said.

This past week, however, Gabriel son called him, saying they had "adjusted" their plans and planned to proceed with the party. Charette said John McCarthy told him the party would be limited to 200 individuals and end at 1 a.m., instead of 6 a.m. as originally proposed. He also said the group would hire three detail officers, at their cost, Charette said.

"All of the sudden these guys are lining this up," he said.

Around noon Saturday, Charette said he received a phone call from another organizer, not John, saying tickets sales had been sluggish and that only 100 people would be attending. The caller said Gabe McCarthy had asked him to call Charette, the chief said.

"It should be no problem," the chief said he was told.

Around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Charette said he drove by the old mill building to check on the event.

"Doesn't look too bad," Charette recalled thinking.

Trouble later reared its head.

"The next thing you know, over the next few hours, my guys are making arrests," Charette said. "They ended up with a lot more people than they told us we were going to get."

Later in the night, around 9:47 p.m. police arrested Steven Manchini, 17, of Hudson, N.H., and charged him with two counts of assault and battery of a police officer, two counts of wanton destruction of property under $250, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace. Later, at 11:17 p.m. officers returned to arrest Scott Turner, 27 at the time of incident, but now 28, of Smithfield, R.I., and charged him with possession of a class B substance. They also arrested Shannon Dooling, 20, of Boxborough, and charged her with disorderly conduct, an ordinance violation and possession of a class B substance.

Charette expressed disappointment with the McCarthys, believing they misled him about what would occur.

"I feel that they just out and out lied to me," Charette said.

Ryan Grannan-Doll can be reached by phone at (508) 909-4050, or by e-mail at rgrand@stonebridgepress.com.

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