BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — SALEM — A judge yesterday denied a motion to dismiss an aggravated assault and battery charge against a bouncer at Salem’s Tavern in the Square.
Nicholas Quartarone, 19, of Beverly is charged with slamming a patron, Zachary Brown, 23, of Peabody, to the floor, causing a skull fracture while trying to eject Brown one night last May.
Quartarone, meanwhile, is accusing Brown in a civilian-signed complaint of elbowing him.
Quartarone’s attorney, Kevin James, argued yesterday during a hearing in Salem District Court that Brown’s skull fracture was near the temple, but there is no evidence that Quartarone’s actions caused it.
James contended that because Brown told police he was punched in the back of the head, a clerk could not conclude that the skull fracture was caused by his client.
“Mr. Brown himself admits it was a back-of-the-head injury,” argued James.
He admitted that Quartarone, a former Beverly High football player, put Brown in a “football-like” tackle that night.
Prosecutor Patrick Collins pointed to witness statements to police that say Brown was slammed head first to the floor. And, said Collins, Brown was bleeding from the ears as he lay on the floor.
Judge Matthew Machera suggested that the dispute over the cause of Brown’s injury is an issue for a jury or judge to decide at trial, and he denied the motion.
A final status hearing in the case is scheduled for March 6.
The case is being closely watched by the Salem Licensing Board because it was one of a series of reported incidents that lead commissioners to vote to suspend Tavern in the Square’s license. The suspension was ordered held in abeyance until the outcome of the case against Quartarone.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.