Owner: We do not serve minors

Newton Street resident Tammi Long demands to know why her 16-year-old daughter supposedly was allowed into Charlie's Bar earlier this month and was drinking "with a bunch of friends, all underage." And she wants to know why police didn't take immediate action.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010


Newton Street resident Tammi Long demands to know why her 16-year-old daughter supposedly was allowed into Charlie's Bar earlier this month and was drinking "with a bunch of friends, all underage."

And she wants to know why police didn't take immediate action.

"Even at my age, I'm ID'd everywhere," Long, 34, said.

Donna Rossman, who has run Charlie's Bar since August 1983, said there's no way Long's daughter made it inside her establishment July 6. Charlie's Bar has been in business since about 1933.

"We did not serve that girl," Rossman said defiantly. "No, we check IDs.

"Nobody served alcohol (to minors) and we have two security guys who check IDs," she said. "We don't serve underage. We catch them. We kick them out."

A person accused of serving or selling alcohol to a minor would be charged with sales underage. The first-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

"Obviously, if they are underage and not with a parent, it's illegal" to drink at a bar, Norwalk Police Chief Kevin Cashen said. "If we (can) make a case, we do so. If we can't make a case, we send someone in to make a (controlled underage) purchase."

Cashen said his officers have the option of doing their own investigation of juvenile-related alcohol complaints or submit it to the Ohio Investigative Unit, or doing both.

"We typically handle our own investigations," he said.

The chief noted it's not unusual to get complaints like Long's, about juveniles at Norwalk bars, but said those cases are difficult to prosecute if the family or juvenile don't cooperate.

Long said she found out about her daughter going to the Benedict Avenue bar after two women told her the girl had bruises on her face.

"They questioned her about it," Long said, and the girl accused "two grown women" of jumping her after she left work.

Long went to the intersection of East Elm Street and Woodlawn Avenue to pick up her daughter July 7, the night after she reportedly visited the bar.

"She knew at the time I knew about the drinking," Long said. She found the girl walking on East Elm.

"Her daughter did not want to go with her and said, 'I'll get another domestic violence (charge) if you don't leave me alone,'" Capt. Jack O'Neil wrote in his July 8 report. "Ms. Long then left her walking and went home, hoping she would come home."

She was located Friday in Mansfield by the Mansfield Police Department.

Since May 2006, police have made 10 underage consumption arrests at Charlie's, Cashen said. In the same time, there were two arrests on furnishing alcohol to underage persons.

Rossman calls her business "tight on security," saying her bouncers "are walking the floor all night." She said it's possible someone could have brought alcohol to a minor outside Charlie's Bar or that a minor snuck in while a bouncer was taking a bathroom break.

Charlie's bouncers are required to put large X's on people's hands if they are under 21, signifying they're not allowed to be served alcohol. Long said when her sister filled out a police report, O'Neil doubted her allegation that she had witnessed Charlie's bartenders serve alcohol to underage drinkers.

"I know Capt. O'Neil is following up," Cashen said.

"Dating back to January 2005, that establishment (Charlie's) had only one violation of underage consumption," said Tom Hunter, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

"Obviously, we would prefer that would be zero. But over the past 30-plus months there are no signs of problems with this establishment. The times we have been in to check we have found no problems."


Tammi Long (Ano...

First of all this is not just my problem. My daughter was in bed that night so I went to sleep just like all you other parents, and out the window she went. As far as I letting her go that day it was the best thing to do and the police was called over there they looked for her but couldn't find her. Don't look at the parents and say this is their bad parenting skills. We need to start looking at the court and police around here in this town that just slap them on the wrist and fine the parents or put them in jail when the kids need to start being responsible for there actions. If not taught now then all their doing is bring them up to be crimanls in the big court. As far as charlies bar goes one they need not to let you in under the age of 21. My daughter didn't even have a I.D. and was still let in. If you are a owner of a bar then it is your responsiblity not to let people under the age of 21 drink. You all cry about me and this story
, but what are you all going to say when one of these under age drinkers leave this bar and drive and kill someone. I don't what to hear you all cry then. think what you want of me but this is not just my kid there are more maybe even yours.

Angela Williams...

Well this article has opened a whole can of worms. 1 If you drink there your mad as there goes your free rides from the local police letting you get away with drinking and driving and the men picking up the under age girls that are either in the bar or outside waiting on them. 2 If your Donna there goes your money for your greedy pocket you and your son serve them drink with them and could careless as it puts money in your pocket.3 If your a parent you just relized you have to wonder if one of those under age kids are yours.4 There goes another slap in the face for Norwalk again yes this is a kids place. The kids run this town the cops the judges an Norwalk enjoys the money they bring in from fining their parents. I'm proud someone finally had the nerve to stand up and say something. The other adults in this town can't go out any where as alot of these bars would rather serve to the crowds they are accustom to!!!!!!

Tonya Conley (A...

To all you parents who keep saying thats not my kid think again we were all young once and did stuff wrong too.I myself witnessed young girls in their drinking that looked alot younger than 18.Maybe that bar needed to be recognized for who they really serve.This town let's kids get away with everything rather it's drinking or stealing.The judges and police are teaching our children that it's ok to do what they want and nothing will ever happen.But when they are 18 then the story is different.Maybe if we were allowed to correct our children then there wouldnt be so many kids in court now would there be.Maybe if they started making these children pay their own fines then there would be less children in court.sad thing think about the men outside picking up these underage girls the cops dont do anything about it .To be exact if you're a child or a druggy or a child prediator this town lets you get away with anything.Its not the mothers fault its the judical systems.

Marie Diaz (Ano...

It's about time a mother took a stand against these bars.I do not go in the bars myself but I have had to go and pick my 15 year old daughter up from that bar many of times when she herself snuck out of her bedroom at night.The bar served her and let her in without an I.D. When I went off the bouncers apologized and said it wouldn't happen again but it has.Many of us single mothers are doing our best but these children know nothing will happen to them in the court system.I am totally on Tammi Long's side you others who want to put the blame on her what's wrong are you scared that you might have to find another place to pick up these underage girls.Maybe Donna should be a responsible bar owner instead of drinking with the crowds in the bar then maybe these kids wouldn't make it past the front door.If you're a parent maybe you should worry if that's gonna be your child one night in the bar.We can not watch our children 24/7.Stop blaming the parents and start looking at the court system and the police in this town who proves to our children that they can do anything.

Tammi Long (Ano...

About me being carded at my age I smoke cigarettes not a drinker. I'm a hard working mother that is at work or home with her kids.

re tammi (Anonymous)

Send her a$$ to the detention home for a little stay, what else can you do now day's. They all cry abuse if you try to correct them. I think going to the Police was the right thing to do. I wish you luck.

concerned paren...

to all you parents and everyone else who keeps saying that you would have the child locked up or put in the D.H. realize this these cops don't feel like making police reports so why would they feel like driving to sandusky or Fremont to lock up a unruly child .Maybe if the law would do their jobs then kids wouldn't be so unruly.

Veronica T. (An...

I just want to let you all know that I am related to Tammy Long and her 16yr old. Tammy has been having problems with her 16yr old daughter for some time and she has done everything possible to teach her children to be good citizens. You can't blaim a parent for their children actions. Tammy and my brother-in-law have done and provided for their children like any parent should. Belive me when I say this Tammy's parenting has nothing to do with the way her daughter has been acting. Her daughter is learning this from her peers and other individuals outside the home! Now for the person (Hmm) that said that if this was her daughter she would send her to a detention home GUESS what she has been to a dentention home and she still didn't learn. So what other suggestions do you have since you seem to have all the answer! There is more to this story then you know so don't go judging people with out knowing all the facts. As for Tammy she is a GOOD MOTHER. And I am not saying that just because we are related but because it's the truth. As for Charlie's Bar, since May 2006, police have made 10 underage consumption arrests at Charlie's according to Cashen the Norwalk Police Chief. Ohh and they still claim that they don't serve alcohol to minors. So Diana are you calling your police chief a liar! Now that's something worth looking into! For you parents out there who think that your children are sleeping tight in bed you might want to check up on them every now and then just like Tammy did. And if they are troubled kids and you can't find them you just might have some luck finding them at Charlie's bar!

OH WELL.. (Anon...

One things for sure...It's going to be a interesting weekend!! And for those of you that don't have your "Charlie's Bar" T-Shirts you better get them now. Who knows what's going to happen when the Brant's get done with them!! Oh.. And for those of you that don't know, Insurance will NOT cover a criminal act, like serving an intoxicated person. Sorry Charlie....

tips (Anonymous)

i would like to know how the fat guy that used to own blutos tony,that was his name got away with knowing most of the time if the cops would be possibly popping in?i do know that one of his employees used to live with a cop in norwalk,& he would be tipped through that way.open roladex on the table or other ways.see, we would be surprised to know a lot of inside info!i only know this because these guys both have a big mouth!they felt special, for getting ibside info!

crowd control (...

i have been in charlies in the past,&have seen donna in action she cannot control a situation!she has literaly asked a customer if he will take care of a fight or a situation-if so she will give him a free drink!one guy told her No!said to her lady if you can't control your customers your in the wrong business! you go Ken!He is a wise man!

All in a days w...

I work 8 hrs Mon-Fri w/kids between the ages of 16-21 and I can tell you that kids will do what ever they can to break rules regardless of how close you watch them. And if experience has taught us anything is that we call them kids because they are quick to point the blame to everyone else but themselves that's why we call them kids and young adults. I do believe that people are held to different standards. A department store is held responsible for the safety of their customers, a restaurant is held responsible if they serve contaminated food. Bar owners regardless of were it is located should be held to the same standards!!! And the police at Norwalk should also be held to a higher standard. What happened in this case and will continue to happen in this town is inexcusable. Who cares how long that bar has had a perfect record of not serving to minors: THE IMPORTANT POINT IS THAT THE PEOPLE RUNNING THIS SO CALLED BUSINESS ARE ADULTS AND THERE SEEMS TO BE A PATTERN THAT KEEPS REPEATING. There is a right way to do business and a wrong way I don't understand why we even have these so called "NORWALK POLICE DEPARTMENT" they should be known as "CALL THE RENT A COP DEPARTMENT!!! It's nice to know that my tax payer money is going to pay these so called cops. And for those of you that think "Just throw the kid in the DH and problem solved "HA" "HA" yah just keep that blind fold on. "IT DOESN'T WORK, THAT'S WHY OUR PRISONS KEEP GROWING BECAUSE IT DOESN'T WORK". As a parent of one step-daughter and about 209 kids at my job, it seems like the mom has asked for help in the past but the courts have done nothing to help except take the parent's money due to court fines I see this everyday at my job. We need to bind together and close this bar and maybe this will show kids as well as bar owners that this is our neighborhood.

kudos (Anonymous)

kudos to you my friend!

re all in a da...

very finely said!!

Wake up... (Ano...

If the bars can't serve anyone under 21 years old, then they don't need to let them in either...tell them to come back when they are 21 years old. If people want to use the excuse that they are taking kids out to eat...eat somewhere that doesn't serve alcohol. If you can't afford a sitter then you need to stay home. Some idiot's are no doubt flattered when a young thing gets them to give them a drink. Also if you have to have a smoke....leave your drink in the bar or finish it before you go out.

Worried Parent!...

As a father of a 15 yr old I do worry about how I am raising her. Am I giving her the right values and am I giving her the tools she will need when she becomes an adult. And even if I give her all of this is she going to make the right decision at that moment. Because you always hear parents saying " I told her/him not to have sex,drink,use drugs, etc.. and you always hear that the kids did it anyway. So nothing is 100%!!! And to add to my despair we now have to worry about our underage children going into bars and drinking illegally "For the next six years, because that's when she turns 21! And even after that we still worry. It's like anything else people make big mistakes and not everyone is responsible as an adult. The big question is; how do we protect our children "because it takes a village to raise a child but it only takes any idiot to mess everything up!!! Kids wonder around because they haven't found themselves, but that doesn't mean that they should be excused when they break the law. When one person makes a plan to murder someone else and the other person carries through the plan they are both convicted. So why isn't this bar also being prosecuted for breaking the law?

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

To Tammi Long, have you ever thought of a cage for your daughter? I mean an enclosured bunk bed with an alarm on the door. You will then know when she is leaving the house. I think the Gravelles may have some bluprint, heck, I bet you could buy one already built at their fundraising auction....

Re:AlterEgo (An...

OK, now that was just mean...FUNNY but mean!!
I hope you were just kidding..LOL

Time to wake up...

What was America thinking when we came up with a law that allows underage kids to drink simply because either their partent was their or their spouse is 21 or older, some law! But we as Americans say it is illegal to marry someone that is under the age of 18 again some law. What is the difference between underage drinking and looking at photos of a person under the age of 18. I think it's time we wake up and smell the laws. We complain about everything but yet we do nothing. We need to come together as a union which includes being a parent,friend, spouse, sister, brother, whatever. We need to come together.

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

Of course I was just kidding, but I am trying to make a point too.

Divided (Anonymous)

How can people get so divided? Bring something that divides them: it doesn't matter who was drinking it just matters the age. The law states you must be 21 or over to drink there is no gray lining. 21 means 21.

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

Actually someone under 21 may consume alcohol when accompanied by a spouse, parent, or legal guardian who is over 21. I am not trying to defend underage drinking, I just wat to be sure everyone is aware of what the law actually states. I certainly don't want my kids drinking until there 21. I have told them if they want to drink I would let them in our home with both my wife and I present, but they are not interested.

teenagers (Anon...

If you have teenagers you can count on two things.
1. There going to embarrass you at some point! (I think most will agree on this one)
2. you'll get lots of advice on raising them!!

RE: AlterEgo (A...

I believe you are getting your laws confused! You can have a teenage drive with a temporary license under a parent’s supervision. Now if you believe that teenagers can drink under adult supervision you are whack! You need to get educated seriously! Where are you from? Obviously not from America! Or maybe you just are as low life as these people who seem to think that it’s ok to break the law. People like you who give false information without FACTS should not allowed to have free speech. Since you did offer your children (Yes Children) to drink under your supervision, how about you invite some local police to your home and see how fast your butt doesn’t end up in jail. That’s just very irresponsible of you. What kind of a parent are you? Instead of giving advice you should look at yourself. I think you’re the one that belongs in an enclosed bunk bed with an alarm like JAIL.

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

Tou are wront this is the LAW at this website.
Look at the exceptions. It IS legel for someone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol when accompanied by their spouse, a parent, or a legal guardian who is over the age of 21. It is people like you who spout forth inaccurate information that is the problem. The website abouve is the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Liqour Control. Get YOUR facts straight before you start posting. I defy you to prove me wrong on this one.

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

You are wrong, this is the OHIO LAW posted at this website.

Look at the exceptions. It IS legel for someone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol when accompanied by their spouse, a parent, or a legal guardian who is over the age of 21. It is people like you who spout forth inaccurate information that is the problem. The website above is the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Liqour Control. Get YOUR facts straight before you start posting. I defy you to prove me wrong on this one. Sorry for the double post but I had some typos I just had to fix.

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

I do have to add, too, that parents hosting drinking parties for kids is NOT legal.

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

And if you still don't believe me call 1-877-4MINORS. This is the proper place to report violations of the underage drinking laws.

DUH (Anonymous)

friday night 900pm protest at charlies and show these people that the residents of norwalk will not put up with a place that helps corrupt our youth!!!!

Just doing my p...

If the Norwalk P.D is taking care of this nothing will happened to that bar owner. Maybe we should build a Dunkin Donuts next to the bar and maybe just maybe these cops might start to do their jobs.