Rep. Kevin Boyle, Sept. 2020, York, Pa. (Flickr/ Creative Commons)
Police in Montgomery County said they are investigating after workers at a Rockledge tavern called 911 to request a state lawmaker to be removed from the premises after threatening a bartender last week.
State Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-Philadelphia) appears in a video that circulated widely on social media threatening to have the establishment shut down and to block the military promotions of women employees after being asked to leave.
A spokesperson for House Majority Leader Matt Bradford (D-Montgomery) released a statement Saturday that said Democratic leaders are aware of the video.
“It is very troubling. Rep. Boyle has been open about his personal challenges. We continue to encourage our colleague and dear friend to seek help. Our commitment to delivering mental health services does not stop at the Capitol Steps,” the statement said.
“One of the main reasons we advocate so strongly for mental health access is the reality that challenges can and do happen to anyone, and seeking treatment should be encouraged, not stigmatized.”
Rockledge police Chief John Gallagher said in a news release that a bouncer at the Malt House bar and restaurant called 911 at 12:18 a.m. Thursday alleging that Boyle had threatened to hit women working at the bar including the bartender.
“Police also received information that Mr. Boyle was intoxicated and possibly under the influence of drugs,” the news release said.
Upon arriving at the bar, an officer saw Boyle standing outside near the front door. Boyle presented his driver’s license when asked but would not provide further details, the release said.
No injuries were reported and the staff said they did not want to press charges but wanted Boyle removed. The officer told Boyle that he was banned from the bar and Boyle left on foot.
Gallagher told the Capital-Star on Monday that the investigation is ongoing. Staff at the Malt House have been cooperative and agreed to preserve video recordings of the alleged incident, the release said.
In the news release, Gallagher said Boyle’s status as an elected official and his political affiliation would not influence the investigation.
Aizaz Gill, a Republican candidate for the 172nd Legislative District seat that Boyle has held since 2011, said the incident is evidence that Boyle is wrong for the position.
“A state Representative is supposed to set a positive example, help local people and businesses, and respect the people they serve. It is clear from this video that Kevin Boyle has failed on all three,” Gill said in a statement. “It is particularly horrible that Boyle seems to threaten to use his official power to close down a local business and is so patently disrespectful to the female bartender in the video, including cursing her out.”
Gill questioned Boyle in the statement about his conduct in the video and asked whether he has engaged in similar behavior in the past.
Patrick Gushue, another candidate vying for the GOP nomination for the 172nd District seat, said in a post to social media that he hoped Boyle would receive “the necessary care,” but called Boyle’s behavior “unacceptable” adding that it “highlights the need for new leadership in the district.”
Boyle, 44, is the younger brother of U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-2nd District). He has represented the 172nd Legislative District in Northeast Pennsylvania since 2011.
Boyle was arrested and charged in 2021 with harassment and violating a protection from abuse order his wife had obtained against him. While House Republican leaders at the time called on Boyle to resign, House Democrats said they were thankful that he had agreed to undergo a mental health evaluation and treatment.
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