It's been at least two months since York City Police became concerned about a Route 30 restaurant where a man was fatally shot early Saturday morning, according to police Capt. Ron Camacho.
"It's not like this took us by surprise," he said of the homicide.
The department has been trying to work with MoMo's, 1193 Loucks Road, about improving a situation police see as unsafe, Camacho said, but has gotten nowhere.
"The management and owners of MoMo's have not been cooperative with the York City Police Department in safeguarding their patrons," the captain said.
Killed just before 3 a.m. Saturday was Christen Edward Latham, 25, of Ridgeway Road in Harrisburg.
Fight inside: Police said he was involved in a fight inside MoMo's, and employees made those involved leave. The fight continued in the parking lot, where Latham was gunned down, police said.
A 26-year-old man who is related to Latham also was injured in the fight when he was beaten, kicked and boot-stomped, according to police. His name has not been released.
Police repeatedly told
MoMo's management they needed to learn how to control the large late-night crowds hanging outside the restaurant, according to Camacho.
"We went to them early ... and explained what was going to happen," he said. "We were ignored."
MoMo's was open until 4 a.m., meaning it catered to a crowd "that looks to continue the party" after bars close, Camacho said.
"You can't have a group that large just doing whatever they want to do," he said. "Nothing good happens past 2 o'clock in the morning."
Nothing said? MoMo's manager Jay Laboy denies restaurant management was approached by police.
"They never said anything to us about that," he said, adding police left one phone message with no return number.
But Camacho said Sgts. Craig Losty and Nicholas Figge spoke with owner Omar Faru of Baltimore about two months ago. They tried to give him advice about security, crowd control and keeping patrons safe, the captain said.
About a week after that, Lt. Erik Kleynan told Faru MoMo's was becoming a nuisance property, and gave Faru a copy of the city's nuisance-property ordinance, Camacho said.
And in mid-October, Detective Travis Sowers spoke with a woman there who identified herself as a manager, according to Camacho. Sowers told the woman the business could be shut down if crowd-control problems persisted.
Sowers had the conversation shortly after a taxicab driver was shot in front of MoMo's on Oct. 21, Camacho said.
New hours: Laboy said he was cooperative with police at the homicide scene, and management has decided to close MoMo's lobby at 1:30 a.m. The drive-through pickup window will continue to be open until 4 a.m., as will MoMo's delivery service.
"I am concerned about the safety of my customers," Laboy said.
Laboy said he's seen York City Police sitting in the parking lot of the nearby Denny's.
"Why can't they provide that service for us?" he asked. "That's their job -- to come and patrol areas."
But Camacho said the Denny's details were done on an overtime basis and were paid for by Denny's.
"We're not there to baby-sit this business," the captain said of MoMo's.
Anyone with information about the homicide is asked to call city detectives at 849-2219, or call the city's anonymous crime tip line, 849-2204. Or text a tip to 847411, "YORKTIPS."
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.