Plaza Mexico Six-Month Suspension Doesn’t Go Far Enough

While a six-month license suspension is serious, I believe it comes far short of the punishment warranted after the incident the Chelsea Police Department described at the Licensing Commission meeting last month regarding Plaza Mexico, which is in my district.

After a 17 year-old was nearly eviscerated by a known drug dealer, in full view of the restaurant’s manager and patrons, the teen was subsequently locked out of the restaurant and left to bleed out; despite family and friends banging on the back door, no one from Plaza Mexico answered their calls for help. In spite of the fact the bar manager and numerous patrons witnessed the stabbing, the only call for help from the establishment came in the form of a wishy-washy call to the Police Department’s non-emergency line from Miguel Sanchez, who himself was not on scene but had been informed of the incident by staff. It is a disgusting reflection of how far our society has fallen when no one inside Plaza Mexico felt the obligation to call 9-1-1 as a 17 year-old was left to bleed to death behind the restaurant.

I, not just as a City Councilor but as a human being who has compassion for others, am disgusted and angered beyond words that an establishment that values their own well-being over the life of another human being was allowed to keep their licenses. Plaza Mexico’s management, and every patron there that night, should be ashamed of themselves for not making the effort to call for help. I am deeply disappointed that only two Licensing Commissioners voted for complete revocation of Plaza Mexico’s licenses. If such a blatant disregard for basic human life does not warrant the revocation of licenses, I ask what does?

Is a dead body necessary?

It deeply troubles, and saddens, me that a six-month suspension and some half-hearted measures like more lighting and a panic button are the price Plaza Mexico’s management pay for such a callous disregard for a 17 year-old’s life. The victim deserves more, the family deserves more, and all residents of Chelsea deserve more. Any establishment that would let someone nearly bleed to death behind their building, ignoring their calls for help and not calling 9-1-1, does not deserve the privilege of operating in our city.

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