Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mother of murder victim sues Fort Wayne pub

FORT WAYNE IN Nov 28 2011 – According to police, 22-year-old Jaquan Dartavis Gentry died in a gang-related shooting at Rick O’Shay’s Irish Pub on Parnell Avenue just over a year ago.

But earlier this week, Gentry’s mother, Nona A. Brown, filed a lawsuit against the bar, its owners and everyone connected to the building, alleging they failed to protect her son from the “reasonably foreseeable criminal acts of a third party,” according to court documents.

Brown, appointed the administrator of Gentry’s estate, alleges that the Nov. 7, 2010, shooting was foreseeable because of numerous police runs, assaults, crimes and prior shootings at or near the nightclub.

Along with Gentry, Jeffery James Moore, 23, died in the shooting at the nightclub inside Coliseum Plaza. Demetrius Masterson, 26, was injured. No arrests were made.

Fort Wayne Police records indicated they had been called there 32 times in the year prior to the shooting for a variety of reasons including assaults, fights, disturbances and warrant arrests.

The co-owners of the club, George and Christine Kotsopoulos, filed for bankruptcy in September 2010.

A phone number for the club did not work and the website for the club has been removed.

At the time of the shooting, Kotsopoulos blamed police and asked Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York to allow off-duty officers to provide security at the nightclub.

York called Kotsopoulos’ contention “absurd.”

Brown alleges that George Kotsopoulos and his companies were negligent in allowing the club to continue to operate in an unsafe manner.

She is seeking damages for herself and Gentry’s two young sons.

Gentry was no stranger to violence, specifically violence at nightclubs. In August 2008, he was arrested along with another person after police responded to the report of shots fired in the parking lot of Piere’s Entertainment Center on St. Joe Road. Gentry was charged with carrying a handgun without a license and criminal recklessness, as well as resisting law enforcement.

In 2003, he was arrested as a juvenile, along with five other boys including his brother, for participating in the robbery of a pizza deliveryman that left the man injured.

The charges were dismissed because of time constraints caused by the number of other cases, according to prosecutors at the time.

The week before the 2010 shooting, Masterson had been accused of firing at least a dozen shots at a southeast side home. Police found 15 shell casings at the scene and 12 bullet holes in the home.

He pleaded guilty to a class D felony charge of criminal recklessness and was sentenced to a year in jail and unsupervised probation.

In 2005, Masterson was critically injured in a shooting that left a city woman dead.

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