The Dec. 7 raid happened when four police officers arrived and blocked the exits, according to LaMonica.
William Crowley, director of public affairs at the SLA, said that undercover officers “made the observations of patrons who appeared to be under-age purchasing and consuming alcohol.”
“There was a party planned for a senior graduating this semester,” said Bard College senior Sam Jaffe-Goldstein, who was in the bar that night and noticed that it was unusually crowded.
Undercover agents from the SLA, said LaMonica, had been in the bar already.
“The cops were very methodical, Jaffe-Goldstein added. “They knew they weren’t going to catch everyone, but that wasn’t the point,” he said.
Morgan Rosen, a freshman at Union College who is under 21, said that he had bought a whiskey sour at the bar earlier in the night with no problem. When the officials arrived, he said, he was taken to a back room and questioned by an undercover SLA agent.
“She said we weren’t going to get in trouble with this,” said Rosen, “she just needed to know our interactions with the bar and people working there.” Ellman and Jaffe-Goldstein, both over 21, said they were asked for identification and then were instructed to leave.
LaMonica said that patrons under 21 who appeared to be intoxicated were given alco-sensor tests.
The Black Swan has been the frequent focus of Tivoli residents’ complaints about late-night noise from the live music and rowdy students spilling into the streets.
In 2006, the SLA fined the bar $2,000 for excessive noise, and in 2009, the SLA fined the bar $4,000 for employing unlicensed bouncers and off-the-books employees.
According to Nickerson, the process for reinstatement of his license would include paying a fine, putting together a comprehensive plan as how not to have this happen again and attending a reinstatement hearing.