Guy caught on video in sex act at a Hoboken bar is a cop, attorney says
HOBOKEN — The man seen committing a sex act at a city bar so lewd it led to the business being shut down — at least for now — is believed to be a Pennsylvania cop, according to an attorney for the bar.
Video of the incident at the Hub, which may cost the bar a liquor license worth seven figures, went viral last week. City spokesperson Santiago Melli-Huber confirmed that the bar agreed to close operations pending a hearing next month. That hearing, in front of the city's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, will determine whether the Hub's liquor license is revoked, as Mayor Ravi Bhalla has called for.
The video appears to show a person with his head wedged into a woman's naked behind, performing a sex act. Others show liquor being poured on a woman's exposed chest. Videos show individuals privates and acts of penetration involving booze bottles.
NJ.com columnist Mark Di Ionno called the clips a "death knell for humanity" and" dehumanizing debauchery in its lowest ugliest, cruelest, most anti-intellectual form. The party was arranged and promoted by an individual who goes by "The Slut Whisperer" on social media, according to several reports.
“I saw videos of activity that I never could imagine would occur anywhere, especially in a business open to the public with a liquor license approved by the City of Hoboken and State of New Jersey. To state that this conduct will not be tolerated by the Hoboken Police Department is a major understatement,” Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante said in a statement quoted by NBC New York.
Attorney Jeffrey Garrigan said in a statement released to New Jersey 101.5 that the Hub would "never condone much less promote this kind of offensive behavior exhibited by the two individuals in our establishment last weekend."
After being made aware of the incident, Garrigan said, bar management took several steps to remove the people involved from the business, and also began an on investigation into what happened and who was responsible.
"It is believed that the male is employed by the State Of Pennsylvania as a law enforcement officer and it is our sincere hope that arrests are imminent for their lewd conduct which has seriously harmed our reputation," Garrigan's statement said.
Bhalla called the events that transpired at the bar "an affront to human decency and a horrific objectification of women."
At least some of the incident is seen in this post on Twitter. NOTE: The video includes extremely graphic content that may not be safe for all environments and appropriate for all audiences.
The man has not been publicly identified, Garrigan said his job was described by several people at the bar, including the bar employees who asked him to leave.
While the mayor has called for the bar's liquor license to be revoked, the statement from the business owners said they hope to have their reputation restored, and that they are "fully cooperating" with the city's investigation as well.
The liquor license is held by a company known as Teak On The Hudson LLC. The city's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board issued several violations against the company including:
- Two counts of allowing a patron to leave the premises with an alcoholic beverage in hand
- Four counts of allowing or permitting a nuisance involving public safety by allowing or permitting a brawl/disturbance/ or act of violence
- Two counts of allowing or permitting patrons charged with criminal offenses on premises
- Two counts of quality of life or noise violations
- Two counts of allowing or permitting a lewd activity with multiple people participating
- One count of allowing multiple acts of lewdness to occur on the premises
- One count of prohibited promotion of alcohol.
Bhalla's spokesperson Santiago Melli-Huber said the violations will be heard on Oct. 25. If the license is revoked, Melli-Huber said he believes the license could collect a seven-figure fee for a new holder.
With the mayor looking to have the license revoked and issuing a warning to other business owners in the city, Melli-Huber said he believes the message has been well received by the public and the business community.
"I think the vast, vast majority bar owners, restaurant owners, businesses in general understand where the reasonable line is and what we saw in this videos does seem to be a mostly isolated case," he said. ""t's not the norm of what happens in Hoboken, which I think is why so many people were so shocked by it."
In the days following the incident the bar published a statement on its Facebook page apologizing for the "deplorable and unfortunate incident" that night.
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