The attorney for the owner of The $3 Bar lashed out at the city's Board of Licenses during a hearing Thursday at City Hall in Providence, Rhode Island.
“It's unfair, it's not right and this is a circus,” Peter Petrarca, attorney for Gianfranco Marrocco, said.
The hearing was scheduled as a vote on whether to revoke the bar's licenses. The city called Providence Police Commissioner Stephen Pare to testify. Petrarca said he found out at 3:05 p.m. before the 3:40 p.m. hearing that the city would be calling the commissioner to testify about the beating death outside the bar in late July.
“I am not going to be involved with testimony by ambush,” Petrarca said, claiming he had been “bamboozled.”
The board said the commissioner's testimony lines up with what they heard from officers who testified at the emergency hearing.
“Employees of the bar knew this was going on, they saw the fight, and they didn't break it up, they didn't stop it, and they didn't call the police,” Johanna Harris, chair of the board, said.
Harris said that was a huge concern for public safety.
The board chose not to watch surveillance video from the bar that night and decided unanimously to revoke all of the licenses for The $3 Bar.
Harris noted that Petrarca's outspoken behavior at the hearing was problematic but that it did not factor into the decision.
“It is distressing that Mr. Petrarca acts the way he does. He is disruptive and not polite,” Harris said. “But the truth is that it doesn't affect the decisions, because the decisions are meticulously based on the facts in front of us.”
Petrarca told NBC 10 his client, Marrocco, is upset and that they have already filed to appeal the decision to the Department of Business and Regulation.