The management of MoMo's -- where a Harrisburg man was fatally shot less than two weeks ago -- wants to cooperate with police to ensure its customers are safe, the restaurant's attorney said.
"If they want to sit down and have a meeting, we'd love to do that," York City Police Chief Wes Kahley said.
Last week, city Capt. Ron Camacho told The York Dispatch his department tried unsuccessfully for about two months to speak with the owner and manager of the 1193 Loucks Road (Route 30) restaurant.
He said police are concerned that large late-night crowds that hang out in MoMo's parking lot are making the area unsafe, and that officers hoped to teach MoMo's management tactics to control large crowds.
"We were ignored," Camacho said.
Meeting sought: But attorney Glenn Smith, who represents the restaurant, said that wasn't management's intent.
"We want to make clear that that's not the case," Smith said. "We are interested in working with (police) to prevent this type of tragedy happening in the future. I myself have placed a call to York
City Police, asking for a meeting."
Smith said it would be foolish for MoMo's management not to cooperate with police to "create a safe environment for their clientele."
Kahley agreed safety is paramount.
"The end goal is to make things safe for a businessperson to have a business, and to do it in a way that keeps the community safe," he said.
Homicide: Christen Edward Latham, 25, of Harrisburg, was killed just before 3 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. He'd been involved in a fight inside MoMo's, police said.
Employees made Latham and others involved leave the restaurant, but the fight continued in the parking lot, where Latham was fatally shot, police said. A 26-year-old man who is related to Latham suffered injuries when he was beaten, kicked and boot-stomped, according to police.
And on Oct. 21, a taxicab driver shot at a man who had robbed him in front of MoMo's, police said.
Jay Laboy, manager of the York City MoMo's, last week disputed that police had repeatedly tried to speak with restaurant management.
New hours: Smith said he's hopeful a change in MoMo's business hours will help thwart the violence that's been following the late-night drinking crowd from parking lot to parking lot along Route 30.
"That kind of environment can happen anywhere," Smith said. "This is a situation where people are getting their food (inside MoMo's), eating, then going out to the parking lot to hang out. I've seen that at other places. But once they leave your establishment, whose responsibility are they? And I don't know the answer to that question."
MoMo's is now closing its lobby at 1:30 a.m., according to Laboy, but the drive-through pickup window will remain open until 4 a.m., as will delivery service.
Route 30 violence: York City's stretch of Route 30 has seen a spate of violence over the past three months.
About 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Juan Bonilla Jr., 21, of West King Street, was killed during a shootout at the Veterans Political Association at 807 Loucks Road. The private drinking club is better known as Ada's.
Two police officers -- one from York City, the other from West Manchester Township -- arrived when the shootout was still going on and returned fire, Camacho has said. Both officers remain on administrative leave.
On Sept. 2, a 2:45 a.m. shootout in the parking lot of Five Guys Burgers and Fries injured two people. The 720 Loucks Road restaurant was closed at the time.
Glenniece Banks, 31, who wasn't involved in the fight, suffered a critical head injury, police said; Hakeem Kosh Sr., 22, was shot in the leg.
Common thread: The MoMo's, Ada's and Five Guys cases all have something in common, according to Camacho.
"We're dealing with a crowd of people that had been drinking and wanted to continue partying past when they should," he said.
"Nothing good happens past 2 o'clock in the morning."
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at email@example.com.