Georgia Department of Revenue agents cited three Statesboro bars last month for allowing underage patrons to drink alcohol. Two alcohol compliance checks conducted last month by revenue agents resulted in a number of violations where individuals were cited for infractions as well.
RumRunners, Dingus Magee's and Rusty's Tavern were all issued citations, according to reports released Friday by Nick Genesi, communications director for the Georgia Department of Revenue.
The state department joined the crackdown against underage drinking and other alcohol violations last month, conducting its own compliance checks in addition to those performed by the Statesboro Police Department. The increased focus on underage drinking, possession of false IDs, selling alcohol to underage persons and other related crimes followed the Aug. 28 death of a Georgia Southern University student at a now-closed bar near campus.
Jonathan Starkey, owner of Rude Rudy's Tavern, surrendered his alcohol license after scrutiny following the death of Michael Gatto, 18, of Elkhorn Drive in Cumming. Gatto was reportedly beaten at the bar and later died. Grant James Spencer, 21, of Olympic Boulevard, was reportedly an off-duty bouncer at the bar and remains in the Bulloch County Jail on charges of felony murder and aggravated battery. He awaits trial.
During the Feb. 5 Department of Revenue check, violations were found at five bars. Fifteen citations were issued to 10 offenders during that check - eight for underage possession of alcohol, four for false ID documents, one for public intoxication, one for selling alcohol to underage persons and one for public indecency.
The Feb. 26 compliance check resulted in violations found at four bars and one nearby location, reports state. Eighteen citations were issued to 12 persons - 12 for underage drinking and six for possession of a fake ID.
During the Feb. 5 compliance check, agents issued one citation at Club 125. Steven Va'Shon Williams, age and address unavailable, was charged with furnishing alcohol to an underage person. Williams admitted to serving an underage person, according to notations on the citation issued.
Four citations were issued at GATA's bar. Two people were cited: Kailee Elizabeth Bonsignore, 19, of Millwater Crossing in Douglasville, was charged with underage possession of alcohol and possession of a false ID. She told officers she found the ID she used, according to reports.
Suzanne Allison Kurtz, 18, of Tyler Road in Smyrna, was charged with underage possession of alcohol and use of a false ID to obtain alcohol. She told agents she had the fake ID made specifically for use in buying alcohol, reports stated.
One person was cited at Shenanigans. Emily Anna Shea, 18, of Cedar Ridge Drive in LaGrange, was charged with underage possession of alcohol after being found with a mixed drink, reports said.
A compliance check at RumRunners resulted in one man cited. Phillip H. Moore, 20, of Indian Woods Drive in Greensboro, was cited for possession of a false ID and underage possession of alcohol (possession of a mixed drink).
Agents issued seven citations to people at Rusty's Tavern during the compliance check.
Shelby Renee Johnson, 20, of Jot Em Down Road in Gainesville, was cited for underage possession of alcohol after being found with two beers in her possession at the same time, according to a citation form.
Rachel Anne Foster, 19, of Bowington Ridge in Acworth, was cited for possession of a false ID after being found with what she said was a sorority sister's ID, reports state.
Brian Nicholas Griese, 19, of Waverly Hall Drive, was cited for underage possession of alcohol after being found with a mixed drink.
David Mauricio Melara-Vargas, 19, of Hickory Hollow Drive in Douglasville, was cited for public indecency after being caught urinating behind the bar, according to reports. He was also charged with underage possession of alcohol.
Steven Kilby Sherrer, 18, of Berkley Drive in Villa Rica, was cited for underage possession of alcohol and public intoxication after being found inebriated outside the bar.
During the Feb. 26 compliance check, five people were cited at RumRunners bar. Mark Douglas Bradley Jr., 19, Rivoli Lane in Macon, was cited for underage possession of alcohol and possession of a fake ID after being found with a vodka drink. Helen Catherine Rozier, 20, of Clarkesville Road in Macon, was also found with a vodka drink and cited for underage possession of alcohol and possession of a false ID.
Samuel Waldo Kopotic, 19, of Leon Newsome Road, was cited with underage possession of alcohol and possession of a false ID, saying he used another person's ID card to buy drinks. Also, Alexis Sydney Doolittle, 20, of Barrington Run in Alpharetta, was found with a fake ID and cited for that as well as underage possession of alcohol.
Montana Nicole Pfeffer, 20, of Aruba Avenue, was cited for underage possession of alcohol after being found with a Bud Light beer, reports state.
Two people were cited at Dingus Magee's; Patrick Tillman Healy, 20, of Tally Green Drive in Marietta, was cited for underage possession of alcohol after claiming someone bought him a drink, and Andrew Hunlt Antonisso, 19, of Villa Ridge Road in Marietta, was cited for underage possession of alcohol after agents found him with a Sweetwater Pale Ale.
Two were cited at Rusty's Tavern as well. Kasey Young Johnson, 19, of Pattie's Speedway Road in Thomasville, was caught "dancing on table with drink in hand" and cited for underage possession of alcohol, while Collin Patrick Cook, 19, of Fairwood Walk in Suwanee, was cited for underage possession of alcohol after being found with a vodka and Red Bull drink.
Agents also issued two citations at Shenanigans. Phillip Gregory Sapp, 20, of Pine Forest Drive in Jesup, was cited for underage possession of alcohol, and William Hobby Mills III, 18, of Ogeechee Road in Sylvania, was cited for possession of a false ID after being found with "someone else's ID" and cited for underage possession of alcohol after being found with a Red Bull and vodka drink.
John Joseph Wooley, 19, of Kingsworth Way in Roswell, was cited for possession of a false ID and underage possession of alcohol after being found inebriated at Fair Road and South Main Street, reports said.
J. Owens at Dingus Magee's, James Stafford at RumRunners and Joshua Ledford at Rusty's Tavern were all issued citations against the business licenses for allowing underage patrons to drink at the bars.
"The Department of Revenue is committed to making sure bar owners, employees, and patrons follow all state laws," Genesi said.
It was unclear Friday whether Statesboro City Council would address these citations in future alcohol license hearings.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.