Nassau County police carried out a sting operation on the three local bars – Bangers, the Dizzy Lizard, more commonly referred to as Dizzy’s, and McHebes – that led to the arrests of 16 bartenders on Sept. 3.
All of those arrested were charged with a violation of the state alcohol beverage and control law, prohibited sale of alcohol and unlawfully dealing with a child because they served an underage undercover agent.
“I think it’s a good thing, I think it’s progressive. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that the bars are by Hofstra, but the way those bars are run, it’s corrupt,” senior film major Ryan Nelson said.
Four bartenders were arrested from McHebes, five were arrested from Dizzy’s and seven from Bangers.
After the initial bar raids, during which all three bars were affected, there was another police infiltration of Dizzy’s during a weekly Greek Night event on Sept. 15. No arrests were made; however, Dizzy’s has not been open since.
The bartenders and bar owners could not be reached for comment.
Jim Emery, the father of a first-year Hofstra student, was surprised to hear of how many bartenders were arrested at once and felt that the bar owners should be held accountable.
“I think the owners should be responsible for enforcing rules, and if they haven’t trained their bartenders enough, they should be responsible,” Emery said.
Emery also felt that the recent crackdown will push more students to off-campus parties.
“They’ll keep going to the frats and getting plastered there. Because it’s less supervised and less expensive, I think it’s easier for a kid to drink more than the kid is aware they’re drinking,” Emery said.
McHebes reportedly has been operating as usual since the raids. One 19-year-old English major described to The Chronicle what the atmosphere was like this past Friday.
“It was clear that there were many underage people there. When going in they checked our IDs and anyone who was 21 or over was given a wristband while those who were under 21 got stamped on the hand,” she said.
The Hofstra student said when she arrived with a friend who was also under 21 to McHebes relatively early on Friday, the bar was not crowded.
“The girl I was with actually knew one of the bartenders, so she said she’d serve us but had to wait until more people got there so that it wouldn’t be as obvious. As the night went on and it got more crowded we were able to get a few beers ourselves despite not having wristbands,” she said.
Nelson feels that the bars don’t care about the safety of their patrons.
“They clearly let underage people drink. It’s very unsafe; they put people in overcapacity, they don’t care about people’s safety or health at all. They just care about making as much money as possible,” Nelson said.
Those arrested were arraigned on Sept. 22 and will appear for a hearing at the Nassau County district court Oct. 20.