ONLY ON CVP: Westwood police suspect pepper spray may have been the source of an irritant that cleared a popular local restaurant last night.
“We don’t know the source yet — or whether it was accidental or on purpose,” Police Chief Frank Regino told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this morning.
Coughing patrons and staff at Baci Italian Grill evacuated the restaurant just before 8:20 p.m.
Off-duty police having dinner at the popular eatery said the irritant seemed to be pepper spray, although it didn’t affect anyone’s eyes.
“As soon as people went outside, the symptoms disappeared,” Regino said.
People were given water and an ambulance from Emerson remained on standby, just in case, he said.
A Bergen County Hazardous Materials team conducted tests that proved inconclusive, which the chief said could be because firefighters quickly vented the building.
A borough health official told the owners they’d have to clean all linens, china and silveware and have the air conditioning system checked.
Meanwhile, the owners were reviewing restaurant video with police.
“We’re hoping it was an accidental thing where the person was too embarrassed to say something,” Regino said. “There were no problems with staff or former employees or anything like that. Everyone loves the place.”
Baci was re-opened for business today.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.