Sept. 15, 2010 By Christian Murray
The brawl that erupted at Casa Romana on August 28 began when one teenager stepped on another’s foot, according to this district’s police captain who spoke at Tuesday’s United Forties Civic Association’s monthly meeting.
Donald Powers, the new police captain at the 108 Precinct, said that the incident at Casa Romana (at 39-20 Queens Blvd.) unfolded into a free-for-all that led to five serious injuries. A 15-year-old girl was stabbed in chest, while a 16-year-old female was hit over the head with a chair, requiring six staples in her head. The other three partygoers suffered from similar injuries.
Powers confirmed that there were members of the Latin Kings at the “Teen Night” party. Furthermore, the police said 14 individuals were arrested, including the owners, who were charged with criminal nuisance. Two individuals were stabbed.
One Sunnyside resident who happened to be in the area shortly after the melee was robbed as the brawlers fled the scene, Powers said.
Powers said officers were forced to chase suspected criminals down the subway tracks at the 40th Street station, potentially putting their lives at risk. It was at this point a helicopter was brought in.
Powers said the Casa Romana incident was an anomaly. He said there are few problems at bars and restaurants in the neighborhood and most owners are very cooperative with the police.
The owners of the restaurant said they might re-open the restaurant, Powers said. The owners could not be reached for this article.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who spoke after Powers, told the audience that Casa Romana must be shut down, arguing that residents are currently at risk. He said that the police is on his side, but cannot officially say so, and he is getting support from Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, who was also in attendance.
Casa Romana is a dump. It’s sad what happened to this old restaurant, but the current owners have no idea how to run a business and they are trying to cover their loses by hosting underage parties and serving minors. Shut it down or sell it, just get out of Sunnyside…
The comments that support this place seem suspect…just like the positive reviews of their food on Yelp…
Patrick, you’re right. Because every time i walk into a bar in sunnyside, i am given a questionaire where i am asked to bubble in which gang i belong to.
A Sunnyside resident got robbed too?! This Casa Romana thing was even worse than I thought.
I have to agree with Patrick. Also, where are the parents here of these kids??
Politics these days!? I believe the actions of the people who created the violent crimes should be prosecuted for the actions that took place. Whoever committed the crime is the one responsible for a problem like this. I believe it is very hard to control other people’s actions and people should be responsible for there own actions. A bar or restaurant owner is responsible for the business and making sure everything in the establishment is up to par for peoples safety…..But when it comes down to people’s actions inside the establishment the Bar/Restaurant owner cannot be to blame….. they just have to be careful of what type of parties are brought to the establishment to limit the amount of problems.
But if the owners just had a party at their establishment how are they negligent for other peoples actions inside doesn’t make any sense to me.
I’m a Bartender and I see a lot that goes on in establishements that have problems with patrons and every owner I know is very cautious but again you have to be in the business to understand…..people that aren’t make radical assumptions that are not reasonable…..even stated in the above document “most owners are cooperative with police” suggesting that the owners didn’t want something like this to happen and are working with the police not against them……….
Hmm, sorry, beg to differ, the owners were essentially running a bar with teen gang members in attendance – so both owner and thug needs to be prosecuted – it’s this type of business owner that drags down the neighborhood, so in the very least they need to be dissuaded from ever opening a business in Sunnyside again.
What a sad end to Casa Romana by the way – if I am correct, this was a longtime Romanian restaurant that went Spanish when the original owners sold out? When I first moved to the neighborhood in 2006, they used to have a traditional Romanian-garbed doorman and it seemed dated, but somewhat busy. Not only were the current owners criminal, they were also lazy, making zero changes to the interior – bottom feeders looking to make an easy buck.
How about prosecuting the thugs who committed these crimes instead of scapegoating a local business owner? Sounds like political grandstanding to me.