The music stopped, the lights turned on and the bouncers yelled, “Everyone under 21 out!” Toad’s Place in New Haven was raided for the first time in as long as many Quinnipiac students can remember.
New Haven police swarmed the bar/club last Saturday night. “All of a sudden the music went off very abruptly, not like it was in between songs, and you could tell there was a big commotion. I guess everyone concluded that they were getting raided. Everyone jetted out the back doors,” senior Anthony Acebedo said.
Many underage drinkers fled the bar through back and side doors onto York Street to avoided officers and officials before they could cease control of the exits.
“The cops closed the doors off. No one was allowed to leave. They wouldn’t let anyone leave until they had a firm grasp on the situation,” Acebedo said.
“We were there for 15 minutes. We realized it was getting raided,” sophomore Evan Warren said. “Half of us went one way, half of us went another way. Half of us went right into an agent. The woman asked for our IDs.”
Officers wearing Connecticut liquor control jackets set up booths at the front bar. People were brought to the tables one by one and asked for their information.
“We sat at a booth for about 15 minutes and my friends filled out a form,” Warren said. The form asked for a name, age, birthday, signature, and social security number, along with the information listen on fake IDs. Warren’s information, however, was written down on notebook paper and he was not asked to sign anything.
The bar remained open to 21-year-olds, who were told to continue to have fun. “The 21-year-olds were stuck there,” Acebedo said. “The cops tried to get them out as soon as possible, around 12:30. We were there at least an hour before they started letting people go.”
The New Haven police department’s office of public information was unavailable for comments.