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Prosecutors: Injured Cork student was left to die outside Brighton bar

By Bill Forry, Editor, special to the BIR, July 9, 2014

A 20 year-old University of Cork student who was visiting Boston for a work program this spring was left to die in a Brighton alleyway after bar workers dumped him out the back door of a Cleveland Circle watering hole in May, according to prosecutors. The owner of the bar, 44 year-old John Rogaris, is now under indictment for stonewalling a police investigation into how the young man was hurt in the May 23rd incident.

Rogaris owns Roggie's Brew and Grille, a bar on Chestnut Hill Avenue that is popular with Boston College students. The victim— who has not been identified— is thought to have fallen down the stairs at the bar on the early morning of May 23. He was later found unconscious outside the bar at about 2:40 a.m.— perhaps more than a half-hour after he was allegedly carried there by bar employees. Prosecutors charge Rogaris with ordering the man's removal from the bar— and then trying to cover-up the misdeed.

Rohgaris was arraigned in a Boston courtroom today on charges of withholding evidence during the course of a criminal investigation, witness intimidation, and two counts of misleading an investigator. He was indicted for the crimes on July 3.

"The evidence suggests a specific plan to cover up a young man's grievous injuries by dumping him outside and lying to police," said Suffolk County District Daniel Conley in a statement. "These are extremely serious charges. The victim and his family are lucky he's alive."

According to prosecutors, Rogaris was called by employees after the student was found at the bottom of the bar's interior stairwell near closing time. He is alleged to have told the employees to move the victim outside and call 911. But it was only after a passerby found the young man sprawled on the ground that authorities were called to the scene. The victim suffers from memory loss and a head injury.

Rogaris later interfered in a police probe into the incident, according to prosecutors, who claim the bar owner insisted that surveillance footage of the night was not available. But, video later recovered by police showed two people carrying an unconscious person out of the bar shortly after 2:30 a.m. It also showed Rogaris "manipulating wires at the back of the DVR machines," prosecutors said.

Rogaris later approached a witness in the case, promising to "take care" of him financially if the witness took the blame for the incident, prosecutors said.

Rogaris is due back in court on Aug. 14.