The death of Nathan Bihlmaier is an extraordinary tragedy, and it is hard to comprehend the senselessness of the loss. Unfortunately, perhaps in an effort to provide some reason for Bihlmaier’s death, the media were quick to question the actions of the staff at the Ri Ra Pub/Restaurant. The implications of what was written and said, I think, were unfair to Ri Ra.

Bill Nemitz wrote that Bihlmaier had been “bounced from Ri Ra,” and I am sure that the word “bounced” was purposely used to arouse emotion. WCSH was far less inflammatory when it reported he had been “escorted” out. Apparently it was Ri Ra’s director of security who had escorted him and offered to get him a taxi, but said he did not appear intoxicated. Bihlmaier had two beers at Ri Ra, and if he was intoxicated, he did not get that way there. The Portland Ri Ra is one of 12 around the country, and you’ll find nothing that suggests they’re anything but responsible operators in all of their locations.

I’ve never read in your paper, or heard elsewhere, of any occasions of unruliness or drunkenness outside of Ri Ra, as we’ve often heard with regard to other Old Port establishments.

The use of video cameras throughout Ri Ra is an indication of their efforts to do things right. You would never film everything going on in your business if you worried it would later be evidence of what you did wrong. Bihlmaier’s death is a tragedy, but I think the media should have been more careful when quickly looking to find blame for the tragedy.

Jim O’Connor is a resident of South Portland.