Photo by Ryan Mooney
Patrons at Murphy's Restaurant & Pub in Salem got a rude surprise when a Lynn man drove through the patio fence on Monday night, sending about 15 to 20 people scattering for safety.
Lulezim Rama, 22, of 34 Hanover Street in Lynn, was arrested for driving to endanger, speeding, improper operation of a vehicle, disturbing the peace, failing to stay within marked lanes, violating the city's knife ordinance, and two counts of wanton destruction of property more than $250 after losing control of his Pontiac and crashing through the fence on Derby Street shortly after 11 p.m.
According to the police report, officers Deni Gaito and William Jennings were on routine patrol in the area when they observed Rama speeding out of the Hess gas station across the street before losing control and hitting the fence.
Jackelyn Kallelis, a server at Murphy's who was finishing up her shift at the time of the incident, described the scene.
"A car came from the Hess gas station, he took a left out of it...way too fast, and fishtails...and he just rammed into the fence," Kallelis said.
Despite the chaos, no one was injured.
"I came out and some guy had marinara sauce on him, and I thought it was blood," Kallelis added. "The tables fell over, the cops came really quickly, fire and ambulance came."
As of Wednesday morning, the severely damaged section of fence had been removed, and adjacent sections were receiving a new coat of paint.
The total cost of damage is not yet known, but Kallelis says the monetary value of the fence, tables, chairs, and other dining commodities that were lost do not tell the whole story.
"We lost business yesterday, and Monday night because people left," Kallelis said.
The popular hotspot will remain open its usual hours, but it is unknown how long repairs will take.
Ryan Mooney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.