The owner of a downtown bar that caters to sports fans and college students was arrested early today and charged with assaulting a police officer and violating the city fire department's occupancy code.
When police entered the bar around midnight, there were at least 150 patrons, many of whom were consuming alcoholic beverages illegally, police said.
The fire department's occupancy limit for the Upper Deck, in the first block of S. Eutaw St., is 90 patrons, police said.
Police said Sgt. Craig Gentile of the Central District was assisting fire department inspectors inside the Upper Deck in monitoring and counting the crowd and attempting to seek identification of several apparent under-age drinkers when the owner, George Kritikos, 30, reportedly shoved the sergeant aside as he questioned a 16-year-old girl.
The shoving of the officer allowed the girl to flee from the building, police said.
The girl was not arrested.
Police said several under-age patrons left when police arrived, but that many more were interviewed by police after they presented false identification or were obviously too young to drink.
No one but Mr. Kritikos was arrested.
Mr. Kritikos has been cited at least twice in the past few weeks for violating fire occupancy regulations, police said.
Police said the bar contained several patrons between 16 and 20-years-of-age but did not cite them with liquor violations or arrest them because of their cooperation.
Police said the investigation into under-age drinking at the Upper Deck is continuing.
Police said Mr. Kritikos was held overnight at the Central District lockup pending a bail hearing before a District Court commissioner.