FRAMINGHAM – In August 2015, a patron at Samba West drove down Route 9 and slammed into a Southborough Police cruiser. The driver of the vehicle was arrested and charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Less than a year later, on May 5, 2016, an individual left Samba West and crashed into a Southborough Police cruiser, injuring an officer. Again, the driver of the vehicle was arrested and charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Samba West, which already lost its alcohol license for 3 days in April 2016 for the August 2015 incident, now could face a 17-day suspension of its liquor license for the subsequent crash, based on a recommendation submitted to the Town’s licensing board – Framingham Selectmen.
Selectmen are scheduled to hold a liquor license hearing on Samba West, now known as China Gourmet, tonight, January 10. The owner was notified of the hearing, via certified mail, on December 22, 2016.
According to the police investigation, on May 5, 2016, Southborough detective Sean McCarthy contacted Framingham Police to report that one of its Southborough officers was injured in a crash involving a driver who was arrested for operating while under the influence of alcohol, and had been drinking at Samba West.
The Southborough detective told Lt. Harry Wareham of the Framingham Police that the owner of Samba West was not cooperating with the investigation.
Lt. Wareham in his report, said he spoke to the owner and manager of the restaurant Risheng Xu, later that same day.
The owner told Lt. Wareham the operator of the vehicle that crashed into the cruiser had been in Samba West for six hours but had only had two drinks.
Framingham Police requested copy of the restaurant’s video tape and the owner/manager refused.
According to Wareham’s report the owner/manager “felt it would be used against him” and “he had to protect himself and his business.”
Five days later on May 10, Framingham Police with a search warrant went to Samba West to get a copy of the videotape and any receipts from the man arrested by Southborough Police, according to Lt. Wareham’s report.
Xu told police the video player was no longer at the restaurant. He said it “burnt.”
According to Lt. Wareham’s report, a Southborough Police Lt and a trained arson investigator checked the restaurant. “There were no signs of a fire,” wrote Lt. Wareham in his report to Selectmen.
Also in that report, Lt. Wareham wrote that Southborough Police said there is probably cause to charge Xu with “obstruction of justice, interfering with a police investigation, and destruction of evidence.”
Based on his investigation. Lt. Wareham is recommending to Selectmen, Samba West, now China Gourmet
- serve the previously issued 2-day suspension of its alcohol license that was held in abeyance
- lose its alcohol license for an additional 15 days
- during the 17-days without an alcohol license, all staff be re-trained
- require that at all times that the manager at Samba West be notified before a customer is served more than two drinks
- hire a detail police officer on Friday and Saturday nights after midnight, when alcohol is served
- reimburse the town for the cost of the investigation ($300)
Selectmen, as the licensing board, can accept the recommendation from Lt. Wareham, but can also impose a lesser or more severe penalty.