A Bloomfield municipal court judge ruled a complaint accusing a Maplewood bartender of assaulting a patron should move forward.
Chief Municipal Magistrate Judge John A. Paparazzo found probable cause Thursday after hearing testimony from 24-year-old South Orange resident, Ethan Kresofsky, accusing St. James’s Gate Publick House's bartender, James Meade, of assault.
Kresofsky testified in connection with a Jan. 8 incident in which he asked Meade for a drink at about 1:40 a.m. and Meade allegedly said no. When asked why, Kresofsky told the judge Meade made a homophobic slur aimed at him.
The verbal altercation soon turned violent, Kresofsky said.
"He was noticeably intoxicated," Kresofsky said. The two began shoving and grabbing. Kresofsky told the judge the two spat at each other and Meade then punched Kresofsky in the face.
The two then made their way outside, he told the judge, where his friends were holding Meade back.
"I was antagonizing him," Kresofsky said. "[Meade] saw his opportunity, pushed my friend and punched me in the face. Then he ran up and kicked me in the face."
Kresofsky told the judge he went to Saint Barnabas Medical Center that night and was treated for bruises to his face.
Meade or a lawyer did not attend the hearing Thursday morning.
St. James’s Gate Publick House owner John Meade Sr., James Meade's father, issued a press release on Jan. 15, saying, "The recent altercation that occurred outside of St. James’s Gate is an unfortunate and isolated incident." The entire release is attached as a PDF to this article.
Reached at the pub Thursday afternoon, John Meade, Jr., brother of James Meade and also an employee, said the family was taking the matter "seriously."
Saying he wasn't able to comment further, he added, "I'm very upset about it and so are we all."
Check back for more updates on this story as it develops.