101 Cantina: Police Reports From Boca Bar Detail Drunk Talk, Bottle-Smashing, Puking in Cop Cars
Photo by Michelle Friswell
When 101 Cantina -- the same popular bar made famous first in Gainesville -- opened in June 2013, FAU students were happy to patronize the place.
On March 17, the Sun Sentinel reported that since its inception, 98 arrests have been made on 101 Cantina's premises and that the vast majority -- 78 -- of said arrests have been for, you guessed it, underage drinking, including one woman who walked around the place with her underwear by her ankles screaming at police.
In a phone interview, the vice president of marketing for 101 Management Group LLC, which manages 101 Cantina, says the bar has in place strict protocols to prevent underage drinking.
Ryan Prodesky said, "We've got a standard security protocol that we've implemented here that involves not only one I.D. but sometimes two forms of I.D., plus an I.D. scanner if there's a question about the I.D.
"I attribute it to, you know, people that want to break the law are breaking the law, I guess. We do everything within our power to attempt to prevent it, but when someone comes in with a fake I.D. that can fool the scanners we have in place, it's really tough to police that."
Prodesky said the company added more stringent policies to verify I.D. "before" there was media coverage about all of the arrests but said the protocols were only put in a place "a couple of weeks" before the Sun Sentinel story came out.
(He also suggested that the media coverage stemmed from old arrests and that better systems had been put in place this year. Forty-six of the 98 arrests occurred in 2014.)
Still, angry residents who live near the bar have been public in their thoughts about 101 Cantina, calling it too loud, among other things. Outgoing Mayor Susan Whelchel shared that sentiment at her last City Council meeting this past Tuesday, according to the Sun Sentinel. "We want the place either to follow the law and act and be responsible or we want it shut down," she said. "I don't want it to be there. Nobody up here wants it to be there."
Prodesky, however, said he hadn't heard directly from anyone who works for the city and added, "I think from the mayor's standpoint, it's a bit irresponsible and an antibusiness stance to have without reaching out and digging into what the issue is. We take our relationships with whatever city government we work with very serious. We like to operate in cities that are pro-business and pro-growth, and we look around and see all the development and potential in this city and we're excited about it. Moving forward, we're excited to work with a city government that operates in the interests not only of the residents in mind but in the interests of businesses too."
Both outgoing Mayor Whelchel and incoming Mayor Susan Haynie were unavailable for comment. We'll update you if either responds, but in the meantime, we pored over all the police records and found a sampling of incidents that provide a fuller picture of the arrests that have happened at Cantina. Here are five:
5. When 19-year-old Deneille Lamendola entered 101 Cantina on January 15 earlier this year, she had on all her clothes.
But after she caused a disturbance inside the place (leading to a few fights starting), she was asked to leave, according to a police report. She did, but not before yelling "fuck police" and "fuck troll."
Officers went outside to make sure Lamendola left and found her near a parked car -- with her underwear down to her ankles. "Fuck the police," she yelled. She was peeing on a curb and talking on her cell phone while four guys looked on, the report states.
Lamendola was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct. She asked what for. When explained, she said that she wasn't, in fact, urinating in public and that she and her boyfriend were engaged in sexual relations in the parking lot.
She was transported to Boca Raton PD and processed before being released with a note to appear in court.
Charges were later dropped in exchange for entering into a misdemeanor substance abuse program. Lamendola could not be reached for comment.
4.On December 11, 2013, Kaitlin Murphy, 22, was walking near 101 Cantina with a Blue Moon in her hand.
An officer approached and reminded her that walking around with open alcohol wasn't really OK. According to the police report, she yelled, "I am 22 years old, and I can drink whatever I want."
The officer explained his position again and asked Murphy to rid herself of the beer. She yelled, "I am 22 fucking years old. Stop harassing me." The officer noticed Murphy's speech becoming slurred and asked for her I.D. "I do not have my fucking I.D.," she said. "I don't know where it is."
It was then that Murphy was told she would be placed under arrest, but when the officer grabbed hold of her arm, she yanked away and hollered, "What are you fucking doing? I didn't do anything wrong. Let go of me."
When the officers placed Murphy on the front of the car so they could handcuff her, Murphy began kicking her feet backward. Once she was finally secured in the back of the car, Murphy spat out, "You pigs, you fucking cunt, you fucking piece of shit, and you fucking asshole." She said that her uncle was a cop, that she planned to sue, and that she was allowed to drink.
Murphy believed she was being arrested for underage drinking despite multiple explanations. Then she tried to kick out the rear windows multiple times before being placed in a leg restraint. She was additionally charged with resisting an officer without violence and was issued a note to appear in court.
Charges were later filed for resisting an officer without violence and for consumption in public places, but the arraignment has been reset until April 17 because of an intervention agreement.
Murphy didn't respond to a Facebook message requesting comment.
3.When Alec Musa, 20, and his buddy Carlos Chacon, 32, went to 101 Cantina on October 12 last year with friends, the duo eventually went to use the restroom at the same time.
In the bathroom, Musa called out some dirty jokes to his buddy Chacon, parked at the next urinal over. Another guy in the bathroom, though, swore Musa was talking that noise to him.
The unknown male then approached Musa, who advised he wasn't talking about him. Musa repeated himself and entered a bathroom stall. Once he got out, though, the unknown male smashed a beer bottle over Musa's head, leaving him crumpled on the floor.
Chacon grabbed the bottle smasher and put him in a headlock before he broke free. Musa and Chacon bolted out of the restroom and chased the man outside, but he got away. Neither Musa nor Chacon recognized the man, but bouncers outside did and suspected the man worked at Night Owl, a nearby fellow FAU drinks hangout. Luckily, Musa had a friend who worked there, and after showing him David Boynton's picture on Facebook, Musa swore with certainty to police that he was the man who had done it.
When police reached Boynton, he refused to talk about the incident but didn't deny anything. He was cuffed and charged for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon using bodily harm before being transported to the Palm Beach County Jail.
Boynton later pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of aggravated battery. The state is planning to file charges. Boynton has not responded to a Facebook message asking for comment.
2.Megan Gelpi, 18, exited 101 Cantina on January 10, but she did so without her phone.
Jacob Nash, 22, was walking in front of her in a black hat and black shirt, and Gelpi believed he had swiped it from her.
She flagged down two officers and said Nash had pick-pocketed her iPhone 4 while she was on the front patio of the bar. Nash denied this and pulled out his pockets to show he was clean, only he pulled out an iPhone 4 with a green case from his right front pocket. Gelpi snatched the phone, took off the case, and showed officers the US Airways Visa card she keeps in the case. Gelpi said that she didn't know Nash and that she wanted to press charges.
Officers charged Nash with grand theft and theft of a credit card. Nash was taken into custody and transferred to the Palm Beach County Jail.
Charges for the theft of the credit card were later dropped. Nash pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of petit theft (value over $100).
When reached for comment via Facebook, Nash replied "They were overaggressive; that's all I can say." His case remains open, and he's due in court again April 21. 1.Two officers arrived at 101 Cantina on July 29 last year only to see a manager and a bouncer escorting out a really drunk Franklin Kowal.
They asked for help since the 20-year-old wouldn't leave. He was being kicked out, they explained, for putting his hand up a lady's dress.
Officers noticed that Kowal had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes and that he couldn't maintain balance. He was also texting, but he thought he was talking on the phone. He told officers "Why, why, why, why? I did nothing wrong." Kowal then tried to dart back into the joint before officers told him he'd be arrested for trespassing if he kept on. Officers suggested Kowal find a sidewalk so he could call a cab. He agreed. For the moment.
Once the taxi arrived, Kowal stood up, lifted his right hand, and left only his middle finger upright. "I'm not going anywhere," he said before jamming his right forearm into the back of an officer. The cop then placed Kowal in an arm bar and took him to the ground.
Kowal was placed under arrest and transported to Boca PD for booking. The police report also added this gem after spilling his fate: "Note, as Kowal was in the backseat, he threw up numerous times."
Kowal pleaded not guilty to battery, resisting an officer without violence, and trespassing. Kowal could not be reached for comment.
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