By LINDA G. RASTELLI
The case against Best Liquors clerk Balvinder Singh, accused of selling beer to a 19-year-old two weeks after the Borough Council revoked the stores alcohol license for sales to minors, was adjourned in Red Bank Municipal Court this morning.
A date for the trial, which is to be prosecuted by borough attorney Tom Hall instead of the borough prosecutor, has not yet been scheduled.
Singh, in an interview afterward, said he would plead not guilty to the charge.
“He had a Mexican ID, and it’s on the tape,” he told redbankgreen, referring to customer Javier Lopez-Ruiz, the Middletown resident who was arrested July 10 for illegally buying beer. Lopez-Ruiz implicated Singh, police contend.
Asked about the police report that said a search turned up no identification on Lopez-Ruiz, Singh said he didn’t know what Lopez-Ruiz did with the ID after he was arrested, but he’s sure he saw it. He sees many Mexican consul IDs in the course of his job and is familiar with them, he explained.
He said he has been making it a practice since the store’s legal troubles began to card even regular patrons.
“If you come in once and show me your license and then come back an hour later, I’m going to card you again,” he said. “Even if you look 35 or 40.”
The Lakewood resident works full-time in Sunny Sharma’s store. “He’s an old friend, and he’s in trouble,” Singh said.
On July 25, the state Alcoholic Beverage Control division is scheduled to decide whether to immediately terminate the store’s liquor license, rather than permitting a stay while Bests appeal of the council’s license revocation is pending.