CLEVELAND– A bartender is facing a criminal charge after a young woman fell from a second-floor balcony of a downtown Cleveland bar.
The fall happened on St. Patrick’s Day yet authorities have waited months for her to appear in court.
Carisa Buehner, 29, is charged with selling or furnishing beer or liquor to an underage person. Investigators said on St. Patrick’s Day Buehner served 20-year old Megan Keefe three mixed drinks with vodka at the Spirits Restaurant and Bar on West 6th Street in the Warehouse District.
“The owners allowed us and Cleveland police to view the surveillance video, and moments prior to the victim falling, the on-duty bartender who was later identified by employment records or the owner identified her for us,” said Greg Croft, agent in charge for the Ohio Investigative Unit.
Cell phone video shows the moments after Megan fell from the second floor balcony. She suffered severe head injuries.
The Ohio Investigative Unit, part of the Ohio Department of Public Safety which is the state agency that investigates crimes involving liquor violations, submitted their report to city prosecutors in July.
“The prosecutor’s office reviewed those charges and ultimately, the on-duty bartender was charged with the sale of intoxicating liquor to an underage person,” Croft said.
Court records show for three months, Buehner has not appeared for court dates. On Aug. 10, the court mailed a summons for her arrest. But on the 15th and 21st, court records show no one ever claimed the mail.
Her sister told FOX 8 she no longer lives at their Chardon home.
“Sometimes we do get mail, but my mom just kind of like, sets it aside and we try to text her and tell her, you know, that she’s still getting mail here about failing to appear or something, but I haven’t seen anything recently about this,” Kaylie Hasson said.
REPORTER: “Did she ever say that she had served the drinks to the person?”
HASSON: “Nope, she never said anything like that to us, so I didn’t even know.”
The bar was open when we stopped by Thursday evening, but no one would comment.
“We just ask everybody to certainly remember not to serve anybody who’s overly intoxicated or apparently intoxicated, and certainly don’t serve anybody under the age of 21,” Croft said.
According to a lawsuit filed by Keefe’s family, she is unconscious, needs 24-hour care and her medical bills continue to skyrocket into the millions of dollars.
Spirits Bar was cited the same day the incident happened.