, Salem, MA

Local News

June 11, 2014

Bouncer admits to assault on tavern patron

SALEM — A former bouncer at downtown Salem’s Tavern in the Square will spend at least 18 months on probation after admitting Wednesday to throwing an allegedly unruly patron to the floor last year, fracturing his skull.

Nicholas Quartarone, 20, of 57 Hillside Ave., Beverly, was found guilty of assault and battery as part of a plea agreement in which a more serious felony charge of aggravated assault and battery was dismissed in Salem District Court.

The incident, which occurred on May 3, 2013, led the city’s Licensing Board to suspend the eatery’s liquor license for five days, with two days to be served, but that suspension has been stayed pending the outcome of the case.

Police and prosecutors said Quartarone became angry when a patron, Zachary Brown, who had been asked to move, simply made a loop around the bar and returned to the same spot.

Brown and his friends told police that Quartarone threw him to the floor. When police arrived, Brown was bleeding from his ears.

Brown’s attorney, Paul Colella, said yesterday that Brown, 23, has suffered permanent hearing loss in one ear, as well as headaches and seizures due to post-concussive disorder. He now must take medication.

Colella said his client is also planning to pursue a civil lawsuit as a result of the incident.

Brown faced a cross-complaint filed by Quartarone and his attorney accusing the Peabody man of delivering a sharp blow with the elbow to the bouncer before the incident.

While a trial has been scheduled for this summer in that case, the matter is not expected to go to trial.

Prosecutor Patrick Collins said Quartarone made a decision that night to use “a level of force that far exceeded” any reasonable standard.

Outside court, Quartarone’s lawyer, Kevin James, continued to fault Brown for instigating the confrontation.

“It is Mr. Quartarone’s position, as it was in June 2013 at his arraignment, wherein this incident resulted from Mr. Zachary Brown’s drunken and violent behavior,” said James.

Under the terms of the sentence imposed by Judge Robert Brennan, Quartarone was sentenced to two years of probation, with conditions that include no contact with Brown or his family, and no working at any establishment that serves alcohol.

If he complies with the conditions during the first 18 months of that probation and stays out of further trouble, he could seek to have his probation terminated six months early, the judge said.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.


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