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WBAL TV: Police Out-Manned In Towson Melee

TV station reports that county police "encountered fistfights; drunken, defiant roving mobs and loitering party-goers under a cloud of marijuana smoke" during a fight outside the Recher Theatre while being under orders to "make as few arr

Baltimore County Police officers responding to a fight outside the Recher Theatre in September were outmanned and under orders to make as few arrests as possible, according to a WBAL Television report.

The station cites documents it obtained in the course of its reporting on the Sept. 23 incident.

"Outmanned and under orders to use restraint and make as few arrests as possible, Baltimore County police encountered fistfights; drunken, defiant roving mobs and loitering party-goers under a cloud of marijuana smoke in the 500 block of York Road, where 1,500 people shut down the road and sidewalks -- and that was only the first wave of trouble," according to the news station's website.

The owners of the Recher Theatre are scheduled to appear Monday at a hearing with the Baltimore County Board of Liquor License Commissioners.

In September, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz blamed Brian and Scott Recher for the incident.

"I really lay the blame on one particular operator here who delegated responsibility to some third-party promoter and I've got a real problem with that because they have a liquor license and they have responsibility to maintain not only order within their premises but those who are outside their premises who are there because of the event they are promoting," Kamenetz said during a Sept. 25 news conference.

Over the years, Brian and Scott Recher have built and expanded a business that includes a concert and event venue at a vacant movie house, a bar and restaurant next door with expanded patio and the adjacent Towson Tavern.

Incidents at the bar have been few, according to liquor board officials who spoke to Patch on Sept. 26.

In May, the bar was ordered to appear at a hearing related to an underage drinking complaint. No action was ultimately taken against the bar.

In August, the liquor board sent owners of the Recher Theatre a letter after fights broke out both in front of and behind the bar.

Police arrested three men and charged then with disorderly conduct.

Immediately following that incident, The Recher brothers requested a meeting with county police and liquor board officials to review security, crowd control and under-age drinking prevention measures.

"It was a good meeting where the owner reviewed all his security, crowd control and under-age drinking control measures," said according to Mike Mohler, chief administrator for the board, in a September interview.

moe green November 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM
no kevin, the blame is on two other parties. first is on the animal frm the city who after being told that their was no room at the inn decided to act like animals instead of adults. the blame is also shared by the police commanders. roaminf bands of thugs do not understand nice. they understand the end of a night stick, and a nihgt in a holdoing cell. but the geldings no running the department ( from corporals up) would n ot tae the chance of upsetting the black community. BUPKUS. so the neightborhood suffers
Needaname November 17, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I totally agree. However, I feel bad for the officers who had to attempt to control that group - and I am NOT A FAN OF THE POLICE. Why won't anyone name the third party promoter ?
Tom Kiefaber November 17, 2012 at 02:59 PM
What's with the unbridled racial overtones to so many posts on the Towson Patch site, compared to a slew of similar publications? Whether it's the new theatre being built, the Recher scene or numerous other stories, reading these posts sounds like it's coming form Cambridge, MD in the 60's. To refer to "animals from the city" etc. is a highly offensive blanket generalization that simply does not belong in public discourse in 2012, anonymous or otherwise.
Michelle L November 17, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I agree Tom. Anyone who thinks racism is a thing of the past need only read Towson Patch comments to dispel that myth.
Tom Kiefaber November 17, 2012 at 04:06 PM
It's appalling what Patch lets slide, which at times fits the definition of racial hate speech. They've ignored a few particularly insipid, cyber stalker, hater trolls as well, like Balt Observer and others who spew nothing but hate, including wishes for the deaths of folks they despise and excoriate with glee. It's basically an irresponsible AOL national chain publication, which hires local also ran *journalists* to try and lend these publications some weak local flavor. As with all national top down publications who try to shill as hyper-local online *community* endeavors, it isn't working...
K Blue November 17, 2012 at 04:10 PM
If the Rechers are held responsible (regardless of the actions they took) for the actions of this flash mob, then I sincerely hope that County administration denies any liquor license permits to tenants of the Towson Square (formerly, Towson Circle III) which intends to have a mega-movie theater complex and anchoring restaurants. You never know how many people will attend any given movie at any given time, nor how many people will decide to dine at a particular location, esp. not nowadays with social media. If the Rechers had done nothing, they deserve to be fined, but it has been reported that they used a bullhorn to disperse the crowd and to advise that that no one else would be admitted and advised police, requesting assistance. That the police arrived under orders to effect as few arrests as possible is not under their control. This incident was terribly, terribly unfortunate, but placing blame on an establishment just for the sake of blaming someone is reckless.
Tom Kiefaber November 17, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Agreed, K Blue. Well stated. The Rechers strive to be responsible members of the business community and for the most part succeed under difficult circumstances. For culpable members of an irresponsible, criminality scene, look to the county executive's office and all the back room fixers involved in a corrupt political game.
Bart November 17, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I thought it was unfortunate that KK blamed the Rechers for the riot. They did the right thing, keeping within their capacity restrictions and calling the police in the first place. They had worked with the promoter previously with no trouble. Let's bring the promoter in on this. And, Tom, you are so right about the bigots who post here. It truly depresses me to know they are my neighbors. I just suppose it's easier to blame "them" for any trouble than to admit it's "us" after all.
Tom Kiefaber November 17, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Perhaps if enough of us who are tired of the unchecked curse of bigotry complained up the ladder at Patch, they may act quell the racist haters? I've tried a few times to no avail to date. If others take a moment to email Bryan Sears ( a reasonable guy) and ask for contact info. for the Patch overseers in NYC to express our rising concerns, it could make a difference. Your thoughts?
Mary-Lynn Jeppi Ragot November 17, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Since when can all the blame be placed on the establishment for the unruly behavior of its "guests"? I grew up in Towson and as a young adult frequented the many restaurants, pubs and businesses lining the streets. The Rechers do a great job; my kids and their friends have attended many events there with no issues. As long as the establishment follows the rules and provides a safe environment, it is unfair to blame them for the behavior of customers who want to cause trouble. Peace-keeping is still in the job description of our police force.
Tom Kiefaber November 17, 2012 at 05:39 PM
KK is way out of line, I agree. He's always been a horse's arse according to his schoolmates who are stunned that he somehow achieved the office. It seems he was considered least likely to succeed. Some out of town business folks I ran into once were drinking their dinners one night at Belvedere Square celebrating. The cause was that were going back to NYC that night on the train to inform the boss that the 50K in cash they brought with them to *encourage* KK and his associates to help them pass some county ordinance or whatever was almost all still in their pocket. It seems it only took 5K to *encourage* the County Commissioner's office to assist them, behind the scenes. They must have high-fived a dozen times that night over Baltimore County's nickel dime hustler, KK. They bought me and others a few rounds as well. So consider the source, as they say..
Bart November 17, 2012 at 05:53 PM
It sounds like this plan might give us a "feel-good" moment of warmth, but there is that issue of free speech. I can't support censorship.
Tom Kiefaber November 17, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Bart, Please. Are you African American? I'm going take a big leap and say no. Patch isn't the government Bart, it's a privately owned business. They have every right to purge and prevent racial slurs and insults from inclusion in the discourse, if only due to its offensive and hateful poor refection on their publication. This is not an issue for you to climb up on that high horse of principle. Cleansing the Patch site of bigoted venomous hate speech, and I predict the republic will survive.
Bart November 17, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Nope, and I'm not on any high horse, either. I despise the bigotted comments I see here, and I have the right to call them for what they are. Problem is, who is to decide just what is offensive? Lot of things are done in this country that are vile, distasteful, etc. BUT people have a right their opinions. And I have a right to mine.
Tom Kiefaber November 17, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Yes you certainly do Bart, and you're expressing them quite well. You do not have any right, however, to express your opinions here at all, or to command Patch to post them just because you're a citizen. . Even if they just don't like you personally Bart at AOL, for some nonsensical reason, you have NO rights to post the alphabet here if they say so. This is a business, Bart, and not anyone's cyber free speech soapbox in a public space. You get that, correct?
Bart November 17, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Soapbox? Interesting choice of words. Have a nice day.
Tom Kiefaber November 17, 2012 at 08:36 PM
I can only assume you have now stumbled on the folly of your position and don't have the nads to acknowledge it. Yes, Bart, you have a nice day as well. Buh bye.
Dan Garber November 17, 2012 at 09:40 PM
The Recher brothers have been solid supporters of the Towson community for years and took an old movie theater and converted it into something that is vibrant and regionally known. While quite a few national businesses have come and gone leaving Towson, the Rechers have stayed loyal and true. They even recently expanded and put an upscale restaurant next door re-investing in the community. It is disgusting that Mr. Kamenetz is using this to create a political spectacle. Small business owners like the Rechers should be encouraged and supported not publicly crucified. Shame on you Mr. Kamenetz! The Rechers have done more charity work and giving back to Towson than you ever will!
M. Sullivan November 18, 2012 at 06:33 PM
So, Tom, you expect us to believe your little story with serious implcations regarding the County government? Considering your well-publicised antics, I find little credibility in this story. Seems like you've given up fighting with Baltimore City and are aiming now at the County.
M. Sullivan November 18, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Tom, seems to me that some of us would like to see your comments censored as much as you would like to see other's. Maybe you should go back to annoying Baltimore City.
M. Sullivan November 18, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Maybe we just call it as we see it. Sorry for those who refuse to acknowledge the obvious.
Needaname November 18, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Tom - you are the one who wants to stir up the racial overtones. First of all - do you know if Moe Green is black ? Second - did it ever occur to you NOBODY - Black, White, Asian, Hispanic wants the element that showed up at the Recher on the night being discussed in their neighborhood. If you got off of LOOKING FOR RACIAL OVERTONES you might realize that we are all in this together.
Tom Kiefaber November 18, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Needaname:? How about Yada Yada?
Ed November 19, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Bart, you have a right to speak your mind free of GOVERNMENT interference. That is what the first amendment is about. It has NOTHING to do with a private entity restricting comment. The Carroll County Times, for example, has a far more restrictive comments policy than Patch. But guess what, that is perfectly legal. Patch getting rid of racist posts is NOT a violation of the first amendment. The federal government shutting Patch down for posting racist comments IS a violation of the first amendment.


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