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North End fed up with drunken crowds

Residents speak out, asking officers to make arrests to end the ruckus

MATTHEW J. LEE/GLOBE STAFF

Anthony Bova, co-owner of Bova’s Bakery, says the noise in the North End after midnight has gotten worse in the past decade.

For Damien DiPaola, the drama on Hanover Street unfolds like clockwork every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Young people, stumbling home from Faneuil Hall bars, shouting and screeching into cellphones. Downing beers and vomiting ‘‘like it’s South Beach,’’ he said. Choosing the front doorway of DiPaola’s upscale Italian restaurant to, er, answer nature’s 2a.m. call.

Seldom, he said, is there a police officer in sight. ‘‘This is a reality show,’’ said DiPaola, a lifelong North End resident who lives above his restaurant. ‘‘It’s ‘Jersey Shore’ on steroids.’’

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DiPaola is one of the most vocal combatants in an effort to end late-night indiscretions by North End carousers.

On Thursday, DiPaola and about 70 residents aired their grievances at the North End’s monthly public safety meeting in Nazzaro Community Center. They blame young people, specifically students at nearby Suffolk University who they say have proven disrespectful neighbors for years.

In response, Boston police Captain Thomas Lee said Friday that he will now station two officers in the area every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night from 11:45 p.m. to 3:45 a.m.

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That’s a start, DiPaola said. But he wonders how long the officers will stick around.

‘‘Is this going to be now until the end of time?’’ DiPaola said. ‘‘Or is this just a quick fix to get everybody to shut up about it?’’

While the trouble has been going on for years, the boiling point came St. Patrick’s Day, DiPaola said, when early-closing rules in South Boston pushed revelers to other parts of the city.

‘‘St. Patrick’s Day was really a surprise to me,’’ said Lee. ‘‘People were quite drunk and rowdy, and I think that was what really put people over the top.’’

Lee, who has served as captain of the area for a month, said he had not realized until Thursday’s meeting the extent of residents’ grievances.

In addition to stationing two extra police officers, he said police will distribute pamphlets informing revelers about how their actions disturb other residents.

While complaints are aimed at Suffolk University, John Nucci, Suffolk’s vice president for government and community affairs, said the university has done its part to address the problem.

‘‘We take this very seriously, and our actions show that we do,’’ Nucci said. ‘‘We’re always doing our best to have students understand how to be a good neighbor in the neighborhood.’’

For example, he said, Suffolk officials conduct ride-alongs with Boston police each weekend to investigate instances of loud partying and public intoxication, all at the university’s expense.

What they have found, Nucci said, is the majority of culprits of weekend night indiscretions are young professionals and visitors, not Suffolk students. Still, he said, when the culprits do turn out to be a Suffolk student, they are disciplined by the university.

Jorge Mendoza, co-owner of Vinoteca di Monica on Richmond Street and a North End resident, said he believes that ride-alongs are not enough. Boston police, he said, have been serving as Suffolk campus security on weekends.

‘‘They say, ‘We’re trying to educate,’ ’’ Mendoza said. ‘‘Those kids don’t care. It goes in one ear and out the other.’’

The late-night public intoxication and urination has had an impact on his life, Mendoza said. If he’s at the restaurant after 1 a.m., he stays inside until 2:30 a.m. to avoid a confrontation with young people walking home from the bars. He no longer puts potted plants outside the restaurant; they just get kicked over, yanked up, vomited on. And once, someone threw a 24-ounce beer bottle through the window of his father’s first-floor bedroom.

Mendoza said he believes police should make arrests; only then will troublemakers know things are serious.

Salvatore LaMattina, who represents the neighborhood on the City Council, said he believes some North End landlords could do more to discourage rowdiness and partying by tenants and said he is considering pushing for steeper fines for loud parties that prompt a visit from police.

Anthony Bova is a co-owner of Bova’s Bakery on Salem Street and landlord of several apartment buildings in the North End. He said he does his best to screen tenants and make sure they are not the rowdy type. But most of the time, he said, the troublemakers are tenants’ friends.

‘‘If you’re eight buildings up the street and someone yells ‘Richhhaaaaarrrrrd,’ it resonates,’’ Bova said. ‘‘It’s a problem. People have the right to sleep.’’

Bova said he worries that one of these days, someone will get hurt. In decades past, someone caught urinating on a storefront would get beaten up. He’s concerned that same brand of old-fashioned North End justice will soon make a reappearance.

His solution: Porta-Potties.

Martine Powers can be reached at mpowers@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @martinepowers.
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