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Bartender charged in connection with 20-year-old man's drowning in Maple Grove

  • May 17, 2013 - 9:27 PM

A bartender at a popular Maple Grove pub was charged Friday with selling liquor to an underage customer who later drowned in a nearby pond last month.

Rebekah M. Thomas, 21, of Maple Grove, was charged with selling liquor to someone under 21, a gross misdemeanor, according to Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Lisa Kiava.

Andrew Michael Pitts, 20, of Brooklyn Park, drowned after he walked onto a partly frozen pond near 12300 Elm Creek Blvd. in Maple Grove, behind Great River Energy, just before 8 p.m. on April 26.

Witnesses told detectives that Pitts was intoxicated when he left nearby Claddagh’s Irish Pub, walked onto the pond, which is very deep in the middle, and fell through the ice.

Pitts was underwater for at least an hour before divers found him in the dark water. He was taken to Maple Grove Hospital, where he was declared dead.

A subsequent investigation found that Thomas, a bartender at Claddagh’s, had served alcohol to Pitts, a friend of hers, without asking for identification, Kiava said.

Pitts would have turned 21 on May 12.

PAMELA MILLER

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