Maple Grove bartender charged with selling liquor to underage man who later drowned

On April 26, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the death of 20-year-old Andrew Pitts of Brooklyn Park. The victim drowned in a pond near 12300 Elm Creek Boulevard in Maple Grove.

The night of April 26 the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call concerning a water emergency with a witness stating he saw a man walking into a pond. The Sheriff’s Office Dive Team recovered the man from the water. He was unconscious. He was transported by ambulance to Maple Grove Hospital, where he was declared dead at 9:53 p.m. that night.

During the subsequent investigation, witnesses told Sheriff’s Office detectives that Pitts was intoxicated when he left a restaurant, walked a short distance onto a partially-frozen pond and then broke through the ice.

The Sheriff’s Office investigation has determined that a bartender at Claddagh’s Irish Pub in Maple Grove had served alcohol to Pitts. Witnesses told investigators that the bartender did not ask for identification from Pitts and that Pitts was a friend of the bartender.

On May 17, the bartender, Rebekah Michal Thomas, 21, of Maple Grove has been charged with selling liquor to a person under age 21, which is a gross misdemeanor.

The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the incident.