Thursday, December 1, 2022

Police investigating ‘beer throwing’ incident involving guest, protesters at Precarious Beer Hall

A video has been circulating on social media about a supposed incident at Precarious Beer Hall in Williamsburg involving Black Lives Matter protesters and a woman having a beer there.

It apparently showed the woman dumping beer on one of the protesters.

Williamsburg Police are investigating. So far, an arrest has not been made.

Police spokesman John Heilman said they are determining if there was a simple assault committed.

WYDaily is not naming the woman because she has not been charged.

What happened

Williamsburg Police Maj. Edward Synder described it as a “beer throwing/spilling incident.”

“Somebody said beer was thrown on some of the protesters,” he said, adding it can be considered a simple assault.

He said the investigation remains open and while he has not seen the videos online, he believes investigators have seen them.

According to the report, protesters were marching on St. Francis Street Wednesday night and passed a woman sitting outside at Precarious Beer Projects outdoor patio.

Heilman said for whatever reason, a protester, a woman with the bullhorn, made the protest stop and there was “some sort of disagreement.”

“The management [someone at Precarious] had asked the patrons involved in the argument to leave and as they were leaving, a few of the protesters alleged that this woman had thrown beer,” Heilman said. “A protester too had thrown a bottle of water in the direction of the woman [which] hit the glass window…it didn’t break or anything like that.”

The woman patron left before the officers took the report, Heilman said.

He said were seven police officers with the protesters and none of them could file the report because their assignment was to shut down streets make sure the protesters were safe.

None of the officers witnessed the beer incident, Heilman said.

“There is body camera footage on a few of the officers,” he said, adding the investigating officer is reviewing it and other footage.

Heilman said he is unsure if the investigating officer has seen the videos of the incident on social media since the officer works the night shift.

“We definitely encourage anybody who has footage of it to contact us so we can get a copy for our investigation,” he said.

As for if the woman was banned from the business, Heilman said “we can’t ban someone from a private business. They (business owners) have to verbally ban the person face to face…and once that person has been banned, we take their information, take it dispatch.”

“If Precarious does want to ban that person right now…the owner has to tell that person face to face.”

Authorities are asking anyone with video footage of the incident can call the Williamsburg Police Department’s Non-Emergency dispatch line at 757-220-2331.

Precarious

Andrew Voss, co-owner of the Precarious Beer Project, said there was an altercation between a guest on their patio and some of the demonstrators 15 minutes before closing time.

“Apparently the guest on our patio had made some rude gestures,” he said, adding the woman kind of waved at the protesters “like to get out of her face.”

Voss said one of the supervisors asked the woman to leave because she was causing issues and being disruptive.

He called the woman throwing beer on some of the protesters “deplorable to say the least.”

Voss said she was removed from the business.

“We’re humiliated that this took place on our property,” he said. “We reached out to the victim and have plans to work to remedy the situation with her.”

Voss said they planned to advertise a new brew Thursday called “Black is Beautiful” with some of the proceeds going to the local Black Lives Matter movement.

Voss said there were four police officers in the area “essentially” walking with the group to provide safety from traffic and neither of the officers saw the incident.

He added he spoke with Police Chief Sean Dunn and officially banned the guest.

“We are going to pursue trespassing charges,” he said.

Neither of the co-owners was there during the incident. They made an official statement Wednesday and plan to post another update on Thursday.

“We also made an official statement about a week ago about this situation,” he said referring to supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We want to provide a safe space for all of our patrons,” Voss said. “We’re really hopefully we have an opportunity just to prove to everyone that we think this is disgusting and we want to have the ability to stand up for our rights to be able to stand up and speak on the issues and we’re sorry.”

Williamsburg Action’s response

David Isolano, co-chair of events for Williamsburg Action said he was at the protests Wednesday night, and while he was not in front of the incident, he could hear everything that was going on.

“And it was pretty terrible,” he said.

Isolano claimed the beer hit two women.

He said as they walked by Precarious, the woman on the outside patio waved them on with the back of her hand like “shoo shoo” and “made a face of disgust.”

He said one of the protesters approached the woman and was having a conversation with her when the woman threw a beer.

Isolano said they found the woman’s twitter history and claimed she used the N-word 10 times.

“The police did see the entire incident and refused to take action,” he said. “We felt if a woman of color had thrown a drink, it would have been handled differently.”

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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