Bar Owner Admits Trying to Derail Investigation of Patron’s Near-Fatal Fall

BOSTON, Dec. 16, 2015— The owner of a Brighton bar yesterday admitted to interfering with the investigation last year into the discovery of a critically injured patron outside his establishment, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

JOHN ROGARIS (D.O.B. 5/13/70) yesterday pleaded guilty to charges of withholding evidence during the course of a criminal investigation, witness intimidation, and two counts of misleading an investigator, all in connection with the incident at Roggie’s, Rogaris’ Chestnut Hill Avenue bar.

Assistant District Attorney David Bradley of the DA’s Senior Trial Unit recommended a sentence of two to three years in state prison followed by five years of probation. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Peter Krupp sentenced Rogaris to two years in the house of correction, suspended for a probationary period of two years, during which time he must complete 200 hours of community service. 

Had the case proceeded to trial, Bradley would have introduced evidence and testimony to prove that on May 23, 2014, a 20-year-old man from County Cork, Ireland, fell down a flight of stairs inside Roggie’s.  Rather than calling 911 when the critically injured patron was discovered, employees moved the man outside and placed him in a parking lot – a move that prosecutors said was undertaken at Rogaris’ direction.

A passerby discovered the man on the ground and called for emergency assistance.  The man was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital with life-threatening head injuries.

During the course of their investigation, Boston Police sought surveillance video from cameras inside and outside Roggie’s.  Rogaris on two occasions lied to officers, insisting that no video existed and concealed video DVRs, the evidence showed.  Ultimately, Boston Police obtained a search warrant and discovered video that showed a body being moved out of the establishment.

After police recovered the video evidence, Rogaris contacted a witness and offered to “take care” of the witness and his family financially if the witness took the blame for the incident.

“This young man could have died but for the actions of passersby, and this defendant’s first impulse was to cover up and protect himself,” Conley said. “It was, in a word, despicable.  Investigative steps that could have taken hours were dragged out over days and weeks.”

Jennifer Sears was the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate.  Rogaris was represented by Alan Rose and Aidan Flanagan.





All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.