October 11, 2018
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Albany, NY

SLA Issues Emergency Suspension for Mount Vernon Bar

SLA Issues Emergency Suspension for Mount Vernon Bar
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Albany, NY – The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) summarily suspended the license of Mozza Restaurant Inc., doing business as “Mozza Restaurant” at 95 Gramatan Avenue in Mount Vernon. The suspension was ordered by Chairman Vincent Bradley, Commissioner Lily Fan, and Commissioner Greeley Ford at a meeting of the Full Board on October 10, 2018. Effective immediately, no alcohol may be sold or consumed on the premises. During the suspension period the SLA intends to seek the permanent cancelation or revocation of the license.

On October 4, 2018, at approximately 2:30 am, Mount Vernon Police received a 911 call regarding a fight in front of the licensed premises. Upon arrival, police received a second dispatch regarding shots fired near Mozza, discovering two .380 shell casings near the scene. Shortly after, Yonkers Police officers pulled over a vehicle for speeding and discovered one of the occupants suffering from a gunshot wound to the forehead. The driver told police that he and the victim were drinking at Mozza when an altercation with the bar’s bouncers broke out in front of the bar, but could not recall details as both he and the shooting victim were both highly intoxicated. The victim was transported to Westchester Medical Center and treated for a gunshot wound to the head.

The Mount Vernon Police Department report that over the past year the establishment has become a continuous source of disorder, with 170 directed patrols and nearly fifty 911 calls for fights and disorderly crowds. Since December 2017, the Mount Vernon Police have referred five violent incidents stemming from the Mozza Restaurant, including:

• On August 19, 2018, police responded to a 911 call for a fight at the licensed premises, observing an unknown female suspect punch a female victim in the head. While police handcuffed the suspect, disorderly crowds gathered in front of the premises with multiple fights breaking out. As police tried to bring the situation under control, the female suspect escaped from the back of the police vehicle.

• On May 4, 2018, police responded to a 911 call for a fight at the licensed premises. Inside the premises, police observed an individual with a stab wound, who told police he and a security guard were attacked by a group of unknown males. The security guard, who police observed was bleeding from the back of his head, stated that he observed an unknown male stab the victim in the back.

• On February 25, 2018, at approximately 2:56 am, a police officer observed two females fighting in front of the licensed premises. As police were responding to this incident, an unruly crowd gathered in front of the premises requiring additional units to respond.

• On December 25, 2017, at approximately 5:15 am, police responded to a 911 call regarding shots fired near the licensed premises. Upon arrival, police canvassed the area for shell casings, finding a victim with blood dripping from his right foot who told police that he had been shot by an unknown male who had robbed him at gunpoint.

On October 10th, the SLA charged Mozza Restaurant with five violations of the ABC Law, including for operating a disorderly premise, lack of supervision and becoming a focal point for police attention. Additionally, the SLA has two pending cases against Mozza, with charges including operating a disorderly premise, lack of supervision and becoming a focal point for police attention.

“This licensee has taken no actions to stem the violent incidents and rampant disorder that are occurring at this restaurant on a regular basis,” said Counsel to the Authority Christopher R. Riano. “The complete failure to supervise is a danger to both patrons and to the community, and I applaud the Authority for shutting down this establishment.”

The State Administrative Procedure Act authorizes a State agency to summarily suspend a license when the agency finds that public health, safety, or welfare requires emergency action. When the SLA summarily suspends a license, it also serves a Notice of Pleading alleging one or more disciplinary violations. In invoking a summary suspension, the SLA has deemed the violation to be sufficiently serious upon initial review to warrant an immediate suspension. The SLA’s decision to summarily suspend a license is not a final determination on the merits of the case. The licensee is entitled to an expedited administrative law hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. An order of summary suspension remains in effect until such time as it is modified by the SLA or a reviewing Court.

On the Web: www.sla.ny.gov

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