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Absecon bar loses liquor license indefinitely

A string of violations including brawls, overserving, illegal employees and sometimes-deadly drunken-driving incidents have shuttered a longtime Absecon bar.

The Hi Point Pub lost its liquor license indefinitely Thursday, after a ruling by ABC Director James B. Graziano.

“To use broad strokes, the Division (of Alcoholic Beverage Control) alleges that Hi Point is operated in such a reckless and irresponsible way that the business presents a substantial and ongoing threat to the health, safety and welfare of the people of New Jersey, and thus suspension … is required,” Graziano wrote in his decision obtained by BreakingAC.

The division is investigating two fatal crashes tied to the pub, including a Northfield man who fled after striking a pedestrian in January.

Mathew Cademartori, 24, allegedly fled the scene after fatally striking an Absecon pedestrian Jan. 8 on the White Horse Pike.

The Hi Point said it its defense that Cademartori possibly additionally drank in his vehicle.

However, “his egregious vehicular misconduct, nevertheless, followed his drinking at Hi Point,” Graziano wrote.

Christopher Burtt allegedly was served eight beers over a two-hour period last July, according to video evidence.

The 58-year-old Massachusetts man was fatally struck as he tried to cross six lanes of traffic on the White Horse Pike at Station Avenue.

Those were in addition to seven driving under the influence arrests tied to the pub within the first 10 month of last year.

But it was the more recent issues that drew the director’s main concerns.

A March 5 brawl captured on video surveillance showed security striking patrons, according to the allegations.

It does not name the workers, but three workers are named as being employed illegally.

Joseph Gallo, Jeremy Ruga and Kin Kamau Nantambu all worked at the pub since at least December, even though their past crimes of moral turpitude exempted them from employment.

There were three people pulled over for driving under the influence after leaving the pub last month, including Ella Sink, who was only 18 years old when she was allegedly served even though she was underage.

Sink, who lives in Galloway Township, had a blood-alcohol content of .16 — twice the legal limit — when she was pulled over by Galloway police, according to the report.

At 3:30 the next morning, Jennifer Ewing, 40, crashed her vehicle into a New Jersey Transit bus sign and was charged with DUI. Her BAC was .17, the report states.

Video shows Christina Brown visibly staggering to and from her chair at the Hi Point on March 8, the report claims. She was pulled over by Absecon police and charged with a DUI.

In his decision, the director recognized that the move “is extraordinary, but the Division has established the case for such emergent relief clearly and convincingly.”

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