Undercover agents from the state Liquor Control Commission raided Naples Pizza and Restaurant late Friday night and detained a large number of Yale students, witnesses said.
Between six and 10 agents, some of whom had been covertly observing patrons inside for some time, entered at about 11:45 p.m., preventing patrons from leaving and beginning to question them.
The raid was apparently planned to target Naples management and not the underage drinkers at the popular student hangout. Jonathan Katz ’03 said he was questioned by several agents who promised he would not be arrested, but told him he would be subpoenaed to give testimony against the restaurant.
Commission officials could not be reached for comment over the weekend. Naples employees referred questions to the owner, Anthony Prifitera, who could not be reached for comment.
Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg said she had not heard about the raid and that there is no connection with police and liquor commission activities to the University.
“I have no power at all, even if I wanted it, even if i were dying for it, to tell the police what to do,” she said. “They have their jobs, and I have mine.”
Witnesses said at least two of the agents were inside the restaurant watching for underage drinking before they left and re-entered with the entire group.
At this point, the agents allowed patrons to leave only if they had valid identification proving they were 21 or if the undercover agents confirmed they had not been drinking.
The agents took down the names and addresses of those under 21 who had been drinking and also took their photographs with a Polaroid camera, witnesses said.
“No one was really taking it very seriously,” Katz said. “I held up a beer and smiled at them for the picture.”
One student said the agents accepted his fake ID as real.
Witnesses said the agents did speak with Naples employees, but that the employees seemed unconcerned.
“Harry and everyone working there didn’t seem bothered at all,” Katz said.