Samba West will lose its liquor license for 3 days, after a customer, who drank too much at the Framingham restaurant drove and slammed into a Southborough Police cruiser.
Framingham Selectmen unanimously voted to hand down the penalty for the liquor license violation, after listening to a report on the investigation by Framingham Police Lt. Harry Wareham Tuesday night.
Editor’s Note: Petroni Media Company, the parent company of Framingham Source, was the first media outlet to report about the liquor license suspension on Tuesday night.
On August 22, 2015, a bartender at Samba West, located at 1583 Worcester Road, served a man two beers and three shots of tequila in just over an hour, said Lt. Wareham.
That bartender also served herself three shots of Patron Silver, said Lt. Wareham, who said, it is against state law for employees to drink while on the job.
Samba West owner Joseph Zhang told Selectmen he fired the bartender.
Around midnight, the man, now intoxicated, tried to leave and drive home in a black Porsche.
Worried that he could injury himself or someone else, Zhang said he and his employees tried to stop him. Lt. Wareham said they offered the man a free taxi ride which he refused.
The man even “slammed” Zhang to the ground as he tried to get to his vehicle, the owner told Selectmen.
Zhang said he called Framingham Police immediately, as it was the “right thing to do,” and he didn’t want anyone injured.
The man who left the restaurant, rear-ended a Southborough Police cruiser on Route 9 west shortly afterwards.
Southborough Police arrested William Shields of Southborough and charged him with operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Lt. Wareham said Shields was uncooperative with Southborough Police, and if Zhang had not called Framingham Police, his department likely would not know where Shields had drank before crashing his vehicle.
That mitigating circumstance, as well as the fact that Zhang fired the bartender, has a good training program, and never had a liquor license violation in the past, is why a recommended 5-day sentence was reduced to three days with two days to be held in abeyance for one year.
“We tried to do everything right,” said Zhang to Selectmen
“We try to do the best thing for us and the customers,” said Zhang. “We were concerned about safety” and that is why we called Police when we could not stop him from getting into the car.
No dates have been set yet on when Samba West will serve the 3-day liquor license suspension.
Zhang also owns Samba Steak & Sushi in Framingham on Route 9 East. Its license is not affected.
Zhang has held events to benefit community organizations at both his restaurants in Framingham.
Originally published on April 13, 2016 at 9:15 a.m. Updated for the Friday newsletter.