Violence ordinance proposed for local restaurants and nightclubs

Monday, August 25th 2008, 7:05 pm
By: News 9

By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9

Oklahoma City Police are looking into whether or not an early morning shooting outside a mobile food stand was gang related.

Several people were struck Sunday morning in the drive-by shooting. This isn't the first time the food stand has been the scene of violence.

The empty lot gets full on Friday and Saturday nights as people line up to buy fried chicken.
This weekend, gunfire erupted. Five years ago one man was killed at the popular eatery.

The scene Sunday morning just outside Bobo's, a mobile kitchen, was one that left at least six people hit. Police said someone in the crowd returned fire.

"Witnesses were very scarce, they fled the area for obvious reasons, because they didn't want to be caught in the middle of a gun fight, if that's what it is," Oklahoma City Police Department Sgt. Mike Klika said.

The kitchen is open until 3 a.m. Saturday and Sunday mornings and it attracts large crowds.

"It's a very busy restaurant, after club hours and stuff like that and patrol officers try to stay in the area as much as they can and do what they can to help, but we can't be here all the time," Klika said.

In 2003, an 18-year-old was shot and killed at Bobo's after someone pulled up in a car and opened fire on a crowd of nearly 100 people who had gathered there at about 2 a.m.

Oklahoma City leaders are considering an ordinance that would hold nightclub owners responsible for violence that take place on their property. Some question, however, if that same ordinance could be extended to places like a mobile restaurant.

"I think this ordinance was intended for those clubs that have 50, 100, 200 people there that are causing problems weekend after weekend with no police supervision," NEWS 9 Legal Analyst Irven Box said.

With the history of violence near Bobo's however, Box said there could be some exceptions.

"If you have a couple of violations and you don't police your property and you continue to have violence on your lot, even if it's a portable type situation, then I think this ordinance may apply to them," Box said.

The operators of Bobo's declined to comment.

The city council will hear the proposal on that nightclub ordinance at their September 9 meeting.