Binghamton Bar Owner Cited For Inciting Stampede

By Darren Dodge

Binghamton Bar Owner Cited For Inciting Stampede

January 31, 2011 Updated Jan 31, 2011 at 4:18 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A Binghamton bar owner has been ticketed for his efforts to avoid getting busted for serving minors.

Binghamton Police say Andrew Urso of Endwell instructed the DJ at the Rathskeller Bar to announce a fire in the building to get patrons out of the bar quickly.

They say Urso did so after he was informed that Binghamton Police were on their way to the bar to investigate claims that the bar was serving underage people.

An officer says on the way into the bar on Friday, January 28, dozens of patrons were overheard talking about a fire.

The Rathskeller Bar is located in the basement of 92-94 State Street, and the stairwell for the main entry/exit is especially narrow.

Binghamton Police Chief Joe Zikuski says, “We all know from recent incidents, such as Black Friday, the results when there is a stampede.”

“I find this incident very concerning," says Zikuski, "And am appalled that the owner of an establishment—especially the Rathskeller, which has a narrow stairway leading from its basement location—would endanger anyone in order to prevent arrest for underage drinking. I'm sure the Broome County District Attorneys Office concurs with me on the seriousness of this incident and will take the appropriate action. I hope the Alcohol Beverage Control Board will look at this as the serious matter it is and take the appropriate action as well.”

Urso, 28, of Endwell, now faces charges of Reckless Endangerment and Obstructing Governmental Administration.

Both are Class A Misdemeanors.

The investigation into the incident is still open.

If you have more information, please contact Chief Joe Zikuski at (607) 772-7090.