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Jasper L. Clyatt / Senior staff photographer

The Police Department raided three local bars—The Heights Bar & Grill, 1020 Bar, and Mel's Burger Bar—on Saturday night after midnight. "It was random, a surprise really," said Feras Samad, owner of the Heights, which is known as a popular happy hour destination for margaritas. Samad said that the police usually swing by about four times a year. "They're usually very polite. I think a lot of it is standard procedure. They're doing their job." The officers checked the Heights' permits and asked customers to show ID to verify that they were of the legal drinking age and using valid identification. Samad said the check-in went well and no summons has been issued. The manager at Mel's said their search went smoothly. "They just came and left. It was a half-hour job," said the manager who was present Saturday night and did not want to give his name. This was the second police raid at Mel's since the bar's opening in September. "If someone were here and they're not 21, then that's a problem," the manager at Mel's said. "They would put a warning against your liquor license. Usually, the kid gets in more trouble than the bar though." At 1020, at least one student was caught without a proper ID and summoned to court. The owner of 1020 declined to comment. Spencer Duhaime, CC '13 and the Finance Director for Spectator, said he was with friends at 1020 when police officers entered the bar and began checking IDs. "Literally like half the bar got up and left," he said. "The place emptied out." Duhaime added that the police officers allowed people to discreetly leave. "To their credit, I don't think the objective was to come in there and screw everyone over," he said. Austin Be and Andrew Ferraro, first-years at the College of Dental Medicine, said that looking back on their undergraduate days, they feel sympathetic to young bar-goers. "They didn't do that at my undergrad school," Be said of police raids. "They did at mine. There was like, a day when we knew not to go to the bars," Ferraro said, explaining that students generally knew which night police raids would happen. Be said that he believes raiding a college bar where there are inevitably underage students is not a productive use of the NYPD's time. "It doesn't do anyone good," Be said. "I guess I'm a little biased because I don't agree with the [drinking age] law."

New York Police Department Bars