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Zipper's fined, put on probation

August 01, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN

Liquor officials on Wednesday ordered the owners of Zipper's bar on North Jonathan Street in Hagerstown to pay a $1,000 fine and placed the business on 60 days probation in response to a fatal shooting there last May.

The Washington County Board of License Commissioners publicly announced its decision Wednesday in a letter to Randy Jones, the owner of Zipper's, and his son, Zipper's manager Randall Jones.

The letter also was sent to Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith and several other people, including attorneys involved in the case.

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Any violation during the probation period could result in the revocation of Zipper's liquor license, the letter said.

The Joneses could not be reached Wednesday to determine whether they would exercise their right to appeal the board's decision to the Circuit Court of Washington County.

The letter said neither the Joneses nor a manager was at Zipper's on May 22 when the shooting occurred. As a result, the board found that the Joneses were negligent by not having "adequate managerial personnel operating the tavern."

The letter said the Joneses have made a worthy effort to improve security at Zipper's, citing a July hearing when Randy Jones told the three-member board that he was installing five security cameras in the bar to deter crime.

In addition, Jones said the security staff used a metal-detecting wand to check customers for weapons.

Jones also told the board he was considering converting Zipper's into a private club to keep undesirable customers away.

The Herald-Mail has reported that Christopher Jason Ayala, 23, of Greencastle, Pa., died May 22 at Washington County Hospital shortly after he was shot at Zipper's.

Police are looking for Stephen Lamar Urquhart, 26, in connection with the shooting.

Urquhart is a black man with black hair and brown eyes, according to police. He is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs about 270 pounds.

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