Commission Shutters Haverhill Concert Hall After Patron ‘Left for Dead’

Attorney Joseph C. Edwards, chairman of the Haverhill License Commission.

Haverhill License Commission Chairman Joseph C. Edwards.

A River Street concert venue has been effectively closed by the Haverhill License Commission after police said a patron was beaten and “left for dead in a puddle of blood.”

Commissioners Joseph C. Edwards, Gerald Sewell and Tim Coco voted Thursday night not to renew the entertainment license for Anchors Up, 58 River St.

Detective Joseph Benedetti said police believe an employee of Anchors Up played a role in luring a 27-year-old patron away from the club and arranging a life-threatening assault last August.

“After being lured away from the concert, the victim was then jumped by a group of four thugs and beaten to within inches of his life,” Benedetti testified. According to a police report, the victim’s “face was bashed in and blood was leaking out of his ears. He was transported to Lawrence General Hospital and then air lifted to Beth Israel in Boston. The hospital reported that he had severe fractures to his face and the back of his head as well as possible brain damage. He spent two months at Beth Israel—more than half that time being in an induced coma fighting for his life.”

Captain Robert P. Pistone said the club’s owner, Austin Sparkman of Haverhill was uncooperative during the investigation.