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."


AlterEgo (Anonymous)

Once again a case of someone spreading false information and claiming to be the "TRUTH" There are 3 Courts in Norwalk. Norwalk Municipal, Huron County Common Pleas, and Huron County Juvenile. I don't recall a female judge in any of those courts, a referee is not a judge.

re:alterego (An...

have you ever seen the inside of huron co. family court? have you met all the people that have worked there?are you a court appointed employee?or how about a local attorney?apparently you do have an alterego!i see a lot of posts from you.i have had to deal with this woman in huron co. family court,so there!unless you think that this nice black lady that wore a black robe in huron co. courthouse was just someone that had walked off the street & imposed as a local official!who knows nowadays,anything is possible!i will tell you this.i doubt it !she put the fear of god into me!

re:alterego (An...

by the way if she is a referee,which i can accept that,then the other courthouse employees,should NOT call her a judge,& they should NOT tell the parents& children that she is a judge!so you see it's not necessary for you to come off so condesending!i'm only human!i do not spread rumors or lies intentionaly.so play nice!

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

There has never been a Judge Spencer in a Norwalk court that I can ever remember and I have been in this town a long time. Please give me her number so I can call her and get the REAL FACTS. Are you talking about the commercial that was on local tv with the black lady and the cop? They were targetting the parents that host drinking parties in which they server alcohol to minors that are not their own children (very ILLEGAL), but that lady was not from Norwalk. And I never said it was the smart thing to do, I just said it was legal. I have offered alcohol to my kids to eliminate the peer pressure factor hoping that if it were to be available at home then they would have no reason to sneak it anywhere else. They have never had any interest, so it has been a moot point. This approach will not work with all type of individuals, some it would encourage to drink. Each kid is different.

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

No, I have never seen the inside of family court. I have never had a reason to. But I have worked in the courthouse and I do know some people who work there. But if they tell you it is NOT LEGAL for a parent to give their own child alcohol then they are lying, that is a FACT!

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

I will again state that parents hosting parties where underage people are drink is VERY VERY ILLEGAL. It is only legal to give your OWN child alcohol. Parents who do supply other underage children with alcohol, can face many punishments, including losing their home.

no (Anonymous)

No black women judge in family court. And if you give your child something to drink its not illegal' but if you let them go some where after then it becomes illegal because the kid can not leave the home after drinking.

re: alter ego (...

I took some to juvenile court concerning my daughter, the Judge, " Magistrate" was a women. Yes they have them, and or call them in when the case load is too large.
And that's a fact>

woman magistrat...

Her name is Danita Gilbert

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

Danita Gilbert is white, she is not a judge, and it is still LEGAL to give your own minor child alcohol.

re alterego (An...

I never claimed she was black

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

Ok, still not a judge, she is married to one, but she is not a judge, and it is still OK to give your underage child alcohol. Call her and ask her.

The point (Anon...

The point is that you can give your kids somethig to drink, but DONNA and CHARLIE'S bar are not the parents of the people they serve. And if you no your laws it is the bar owners job to not over serve people.

Where's the par...

Where's the underage drinking going on this weekend, cuz you can beat it's not going to be at Charlie's. Everyone will be watching that bar!!

Quote from news...

Since May 2006, police have made 10 underage consumption arrests at Charlie's and there were two arrests on furnishing alcohol to underage persons. I don't understand how this bar is still opened. What hole do these cops have their heads stuck in? But the owner still says that her bar doesn't serve alcohol to minors "COME ON"

shocker (Anonymous)

I was just talking to a friend down the street and she was telling me about a unreported rape at Charlie's. Why on earth would anyone want to go there!

Ando (Anonymous)

Are the 10 underage consumptions when the kids have been busted and the 2 furnishings when Charlie;s bartenders have been busted? It didn't really make it clear in the article. It has been a while since the police did one of their sting nights where they go in a hit a bunch of bars over a weekend.

Sting (Anonymous)

I don't know if thay were going to do a sting this weekend or not, But I drove by about a hour ago and there was 6 Tricycles 3 scooters and some scateboards parked out front!!

just little ole...


RE: Ando (Anonymous)

Good question but I'm not sure I've read the article more than 10 times. I wish the newspaper would look into all the police reports concerning Charlies and give the community an update. But I guess that would be too much to ask for...since the cops have coffee breaks to take and naps to take.

Re:Sting (Anonymous)

lol!! Which means Laugh out loud!! That's good.....:)

re:sting (Anonymous)

That's funny right there, I don't care who you are...git-r-done

Re: AlterEgo (A...

I am back! Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner there is this thing called a J.O.B. I haven't lost any sleep over this but it seems you have! Anyway I did look into your research and I must say I was wrong about your findings. Sorry about saying you needed to get your facts straight. What I am not sorry about is that you have children! It is very unfortunate! I would never in a millions years consider offering my child alcohol just to avoid peer pressure! Thats called lazy parenting if you ask me. If you think your children will not drink just because they didn't want to drink with you, you got another thing coming. I didn't realize this article was about parents serving alcohol to minors. Stick to the Title!

Just a thought ...

Responsible parents would never ask their child to drink or smoke illegally. I have a 15 yrs old and I or my husband would never ask our child to do either or. Because as parents we are the ADULTS. Just because our kids don't drink or smoke in-front of us does not mean they don't do it behind our backs................

just wondering ...

How well do we know our children!!! Our kids could say to us "OH I WOULD NEVER DO THAT.But do we really believe them.They could be kids who are into sports or kids who are always in-trouble or the one who always get good grades.... Who are our kids?

change does he...

Maybe this mom should move and see if maybe the child changes. Because my child changed when I moved. She is now on her way to becoming a lawyer.

if we close dow...

What would the Norwalk Police do then? They sit and
stalk the premisis looking for action. If Charlie's bar were to shut down...the drama would just move somewhere else. (like Rupp's) It is Not Donna's fault for the behavior of her customers. She is simply looking to make money like any other business. You cannot fault her or the establishment. How about the ones there looking for trouble take the blame for their actions..? Not to mention how many people are NOT allowed in there for fighting. It is easy to point the finger at some one else, but the simple fact is, THE NORWALK CITIZENS are the ones going there to start trouble!...and like I said, what would the Norwalk Police Dept. do on Friday and Saturday nights? look for "J-Walkers?" The force would have to shut down. The police in this town aren't here to protect, they are just here looking for a good story in the Norwalk Reflector. (how many arrests are posted in the newspaper)
they search out the drama by hiding at Charlie's!!!!!

sls (Anonymous)

That bar is nothing but trouble - actually it's right up there with Rupps! Nothing better than hanging out at the Shamrock - where everyone knows your name!

Think back.. (A...

Didn't Rupp's used to be called Marria's MAN that place was a DUMP!!! Anyone remember the Horseshoe BAR? We always called it the STABE and SHOOT that was a rough bar back in the day!!

long (Anonymous)

she needs to stop letting in people under the age of 21 thats all. She gets to many people in there to be able to no what is being done, and maybe she needs to have different people working the door. The guys let under age in with out seeing I.D.s if the people working for her can't do there jobs then she needs to find someone that will. As far as Norwalk PD goes they need to start getting these teens that take off from home at night and picking them up. The kids of norwalk need to know that they don't run this town. The court needs to start making them work off there fines and then maybe they would think before they do.