SPARROWS POINT — Just weeks after making headlines for its lovely grand opening, Tiki Lee’s Dock Bar & Grill is back in the news — this time for a series of assaults and fights last weekend.
The entire Dundalk Precinct and part of the Essex Precinct of the Baltimore County Police Department were called out early Sunday morning after fighting allegedly broke out inside the bar but continued into neighboring streets.
Blurry images featured here were captured from videos posted online. “They’re fighting,” an onlooker says in the video showing fights inside the bar. “Somebody just threw a drink.”
Officials said there were more than one suspect in the fights, and that they were “beating people at random” as they left Tiki Lee’s. The perpetrators are allegedly a group of “five to eight men.”
Security at the new bar and grill escorted men off of company property in the wee hours of Sunday morning for fighting inside the bar. But assaults and more fighting allegedly occurred outside the bar, and police said several victims were hospitalized.
Officials said that the group was attacking people along Shore Road.
“As this group was leaving, they were randomly assaulting people that were on their way into the bar,” Baltimore County Police Officer Jen Peach told local media.
While videos posted online show a bit of the mayhem, police do not have security footage from Tiki Lee’s itself. The surveillance camera system at the brand new haunt was not activated, according to officials.
“Because it was such a large crowd, and because we had multiple victims that were involved in various places along this roadway, we had to have an extensive police presence there,” Peach said. “All of [Dundalk] Precinct 12 responded.”
Officials said some officers also came from neighboring Precinct 11, which covers Essex.
When the new business opened, most neighbors and community members praised its opening, which is accessible from both land and water. The grand opening was a family-friendly event, and many of Dundalk’s hip hoi poloi were in attendance, along with a Deep Eddy Vodka Airstream trailer.
But now, some neighbors are concerned about public intoxication and unacceptable behavior on the surrounding streets. Parking has also been a source of friction.
Jim Blevins, a Sparrows Point resident and neighbor of Tiki Lee’s, lamented to local media the end of a peaceful era.
“It’s gone basically from a quiet street to — especially on Friday and Saturday night — it’s bedlam,” he said.
Other neighbors are more optimistic, and say that the proprietors of the bar, who also own a popular spot in Canton, are interested in working with the community.
“[The owner is] trying to do whatever he can to appease the residents on the street,” neighbor Steve Goodman said. “Some of them — I’m sure you won’t be able to ever please them, but he’s making an honest effort.”
The restaurant and bar put out this official statement on Sunday:
“Tiki Lee’s Dock Bar is a family friendly waterfront restaurant designed to be enjoyed by both land and water,” they wrote. “The news of this incident is being taken seriously and management and staff are using all their resources to gather the facts on what appears to be an isolated incident that happened outside of company property. Tiki Lee’s employs a private security force to ensure the safety of our guests who are trained to handle any incidents that occur on company property. The security of our patrons while enjoying our establishment is our highest priority.”
On social media, community response to the event has been mixed, and at times heated.
The bar also announced half off drinks on Tuesday nights for all first responders.