July 22, 2022
Albany, NY


Recent Shooting, Escalating Violence at Schenectady Tavern Leads to License Suspension

The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) summarily suspended the license of The Saw Mill Inc., doing business as “The Saw Mill” at 501 South Avenue in Schenectady today. The suspension was ordered by Chairman Vincent Bradley, Commissioner Lily Fan, and Commissioner Greeley Ford at a special meeting of the Full Board on July 22, 2022. Effective immediately, no alcohol may be sold or consumed on the premises.


The suspension follows numerous recent reports from the Schenectady Police Department (SPD) of violent incidents emanating from inside the establishment, the most recent being on July 15, 2022, when SPD officers responding for a call of shots fired found a man inside the premises who had suffered a gunshot wound to the leg, and later learned a second female victim was taken Ellis Hospital after being shot in the foot.  SPD officers recovered a live round inside the premises, in addition to shell casings in front of and on the deck of the tavern.  


The June 25th incident is the most recent in a pattern of violence at the establishment. The SPD has indicated that violence associated with the operation of the licensed premise and/or the conduct of its patrons have been escalating and that it had become a drain on police resources.  SPD reports officers being called to the location five times since October of 2020 in response to shots fired, including an incident on April 9, 2022, where a fight involving multiple patrons beginning inside the premises led to shots fired directly outside the tavern.  Over the last year, the SPD reports responding thirteen times to assaults and shootings, in addition to thirty 911 calls for intoxicated patrons, excessive noise, burglaries and robberies.      


The SLA has charged The Saw Mill with four violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, including for operating a disorderly premises, becoming a focal point for police attention, sustained pattern of noise and disorder, and failure to adequately supervise. During the suspension, the SLA will prosecute these violations, the maximum penalty for which is revocation of the license.


“It is clear that there has been a troubling and escalating pattern of violence and disorder emanating from location,” said SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley.  “This business has failed to uphold their most basic obligations as a licensee, and the Board is taking action to protect public safety and support local law enforcement.”


The State Administrative Procedure Act authorizes a State agency to summarily suspend a license when the agency finds that public health, safety, or welfare requires emergency action. When the SLA summarily suspends a license, it also serves a Notice of Pleading alleging one or more disciplinary violations. In invoking a summary suspension, the SLA has deemed the violation to be sufficiently serious upon initial review to warrant an immediate suspension. The SLA’s decision to summarily suspend a license is not a final determination on the merits of the case. The licensee is entitled to a prompt hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.


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