By Leo Capobianco
Two Freeport village police officers were injured when Nautical Mile bar patrons threw debris at the officers as they arrested a suspect after rapper 50 Cent performed over the weekend, authorities said.
The Grammy-Award winning hip hop artist performed at Bracco’s Clam and Oyster Bar on Woodcleft Avenue, drawing hundreds of people outside, stopping traffic and forcing police to close the street for nearly an hour until they could disperse the crowd Saturday night. Later, when police arrested a suspected drunken driver outside the bar, officers were pelted with bottles and debris believed to be thrown by patrons of Bracco’s.
“The attack on our police officers will not be tolerated in the Village of Freeport,” Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy told reporters Monday during a news conference at Freeport village police headquarters.
The two injured officers were taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Other officers struck by the debris were not injured.
Besides the accused drunken driver, two other suspects were also arrested, including a man who was found to be in possession of cocaine after he tried to fight security guards who kicked him out of Bracco’s, police said.
None of the arrests were for injuring the officers. Authorities said they do not know the motive for the attack. Police are continuing the investigation and are reviewing security camera footage in an attempt to identify the assailants.
Freeport police said they will report the incident to the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA), which fined Bracco’s $2,500 in 2012, $2,500 last year and $4,500 last month for various violations, records show.
Freeport officials suggested that the bar’s track record and these new complaints may result in Bracco’s having its liquor license revoked, but an SLA spokesman said that’s up to the agency’s board.
“All penalties are determined the SLA’s three-member board, based on the severity of the violation(s) and the disciplinary history of the licensee,” SLA spokesman William Crowley told the Press.
Regardless of what happens, Mayor Kennedy said the public can expect that “the Nautical Mile is safe and secure, and we’re looking forward to a great summer finale.”
-With Timothy Bolger