Cheaping out on surveillance system could prove costly for Chinatown restaurant facing citations due to violence erupting outside its doors

On April 6, detectives visited New Moon Villa Restaurant on Edinboro Street and asked day manager and co-owner John Chen if the restaurant had working surveillance cameras. He said it did. They then wrote him a series of citations for incidents stretching back to a gang shootout in August that left six with gunshot injuries - because at each of the incidents, a restaurant manager told investigators the cameras pointing at the restaurant door, which might have yielded clues about the incidents, weren't working.

At a Boston Licensing Board hearing today, Chen said his aging video and computer system just kept failing faster than he could get pieces of it repaired and that, finally, yes, he's realized he needs to buy a brand-new system and that, maybe, he could have one installed in another month or so. An angry board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini said that's not good enough, especially since Chen and attoney John Lee Diaz were before the board in May on the same issue and yet the restaurant still doesn't have a reliable video system.

"There are people with guns and knives and violent incidents happening outside their place" and that answer just doesn't cut it, Pulgini said. "The board is not happy about this."

In addition to the gang shootout, which ended with 27 shell casings outside New Moon Villa and one blood-soaked victim trying to escape through its kitchen, the restaurant's cameras also failed to record an incident March 19, in which several men, after trying to skip on their bill, went outside and headed to their car, only to reverse course and run away when they saw cops near the car - which turned out to have a gun sitting in a door panel. The video system also failed just in time for a stabbing on March 8 that began as an argument inside the restaurant.

Separately, and not related to the camera charges, the restaurant also had to answer for a May 6 incident in which an argument between two tables of men spilled outside and one of the groups turned on a bystander who had nothing to do with the beef. When two men down the street moved in to try to break up the fight, police say, one of the attackers lifted up his turquoise sweatshirt to show off his gun and snarl "Do you wanna get shot in the ass?" a Boston Police detective testified today.

All of the incidents happened at or after 3 a.m.

Today's hearing was a continuation - and expansion of - a hearing on the August shootout between the Columbia Point Dawgs and the Greenwood Street Posse. Pulgini suspended it so that Chen and Diaz could round all the workers who were on duty that night and an interpreter. Today, Chen tried to answer board questions, but was having difficulty until Denny Ching, a neighborhood liaison in the mayor's office called by the board, stepped in to interpret.

After it came out that the restaurant was still having video probems - even after the May session - and that Chen still hadn't actually hired somebody to install a new system, board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini said she'd had enough. She asked how long it could possibly take to get a working system: Chen and Diaz said the problem was that a new system was expensive.

Even Diaz seemed to express some frustration with his client, at one point mentioning that he's a former miltary attorney from Missouri and that he's told his clients "I'm more concerned with show me than tell me."

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

Free tagging: 

Comments

Cultural problem

In China, rather than have video surveillance everywhere, they have undercover police and snitches doing the job. It makes for more employment and more people to bribe.

up
Voting is closed. 0

Oh?

What are all these strange growths all over the light posts in Tiananmen Square, then?

IMAGE(http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/434498/10529591/1296640275583/TIananmen8.jpg)

up
Voting is closed. 0

All that

By on

And no mention of cold tea? I must admit I like my tea cold after 2, but it does attract a tough crowd sometimes.

up
Voting is closed. 0

Time to end this utter

By on

BS of holding business owners responsible for incidents that DON'T HAPPEN inside their establishments.

And if the BPD and the Licensing Board are so concerned about an establishment having survelliance cameras to monitor activity on a PUBLIC STREET, then perhaps they should pony up the money for the equipment, instead of forcing another needless expense on a private business owner.

up
Voting is closed. 0

But ...

By on

One of the shootout people ran right through the restaurant. And the other incidents started as fights/arguments inside the restaurant.

up
Voting is closed. 0

With respect Adam

By on

I still don't buy the argument that a stabbing that occurred outside a restaurant is somehow the fault of the business owner (unless one of their employees was directly involved), even if it was precipiated by an argument that started inside the restaurant.

Here's a novel idea - How about we hold the ADULTS that were actually involved in their incidents responsible for their actions, instead of always trying to place blame elsewhere. But I guess the Licenisng Board would have less excuses to bully business owners if we did that.

up
Voting is closed. 0

isn't the point...

By on

isn't the required surveillance's purpose to assist the courts with holding the correct people accountable? I still think it's dumb to hold the business owner accountable for something, but I think the point is that it's hard to hold anyone accountable in these incidents without video evidence.

up
Voting is closed. 0

It's the clubs that are

By on

It's the clubs that are attracting these kind of people to the area and the restaurants are open because they don't make enough money without being open at that time.

These guys show up right around 3 rowdy and partying, which is coincidentally right after the clubs close

up
Voting is closed. 0

"There are people with guns

By on

"There are people with guns and knives and violent incidents happening outside their place" and that answer just doesn't cut it, Pulgini said"

Isn't that what the police are for? Maybe they should call the police in front of the licensing board and ask why they're not doing their job in this neighborhood.

up
Voting is closed. 0

Moon Villa caters to a late

By on

Moon Villa caters to a late night drunk crowd which includes dudes looking to hook up after the clubs and if the hook up ain't happening they start acting like apes and pounding their pecs and fighting each other. I lived upstairs and every weekend was the same. One time a shooting but mostly guys fighting and tearing off their shirts as they stumbled out of the restaurant. A jolly good show.
The board could close them earlier or require a bouncer to keep out the crazy drunks. Chinatown has changed drastically and the million dollar neighbors wont tolerate that kind of stuff going on in there anymore.

up
Voting is closed. 0

Math isn't that hard

I'm willing to bet something like this is way cheaper than whatever your lawyer is billing you. Not to mention any money lost if you lose your license for a few days.

up
Voting is closed. 0