The owner of a Parkville bar can keep his liquor license but must pay a $2,000 fine after the fatal stabbing of a bouncer there over Labor Day weekend.
On Monday, the Baltimore County Liquor Board ordered Tee-Bee's Place to pay the fine within 30 days, saying the bar didn't follow security procedures that could have prevented the Sept. 1 killing of bouncer Tavares Jones, who was stabbed while breaking up a fight. Jones' death was the second homicide there since this summer.
The bar has also been the subject of complaints from residents, who say it is loud late at night and that patrons take up limited parking on residential streets.
Earlier this year, the liquor board had ordered owner Rodney Barnes to develop a security plan in consultation with the police after previous violence at the bar. As part of that plan, patrons must be searched for weapons as they enter Tee-Bee's, and the bar must operate surveillance cameras.
But Barnes told the board Monday that the cameras weren't recording the night of Jones' death because of a storm that had knocked out power. When power was restored, the surveillance system was reset but didn't record that night, he said. He said the stabbing suspect wasn't frisked at the entrance because bouncers were dealing with a commotion at the bar.
Haywood Trice, 25, of Baltimore is charged with first-degree murder in Jones' death.
After Monday's hearing, Barnes called the fine, which is the maximum the board can levy on a single charge, "fair."
"We're going to work with the community," Barnes said. "And we lost a great employee."
His attorney, Arnold Zerwitz, also told the board Barnes is looking into hiring a private security firm.
Jones' sister, Lori Mabry, said it was hard for her to judge what the proper punishment for Tee-Bee's should be because she doesn't live in the area and has heard conflicting information about what happened that night, including how many bouncers were working.
In July, Derrick Gamble was found shot to death in a vehicle at a parking lot outside Tee-Bee's. He had been at the bar that night, police said, but the board could not draw a direct link between the shooting and Tee-Bee's.
About 15 Barnes supporters attended the hearing. One of his employees, manager Rene Hebb, said Barnes did his best to ensure a safe atmosphere.
During the hearing, a police sergeant testified about undercover surveillance conducted after the July homicide. The sergeant said police witnessed drug activity in the area to the right of the bar and saw a Tee-Bee's security employee interact with the three suspected drug dealers who regularly showed up there.
Neighborhood resident Mary Sue Lovell said the violence at the bar makes her worry about the safety of children in the area.
Liquor board Chairman Charles Klein told Barnes he could face a long suspension or revocation of his license if serious violence breaks out again at the bar. Tee-Bee's was fined in May and last October after fights.
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