Framingham Restaurant Owner Indicted on Tampering Charge

WOBURN – The owner of a Framingham restaurant was indicted by a Middlesex County grand jury on a charge of tampering.

Shi Yun Zhang, 44, of Framingahm, was indicted on a charge of tampering with an object for use in an official proceeding.

Zhang, as know as Joseph Zhang, is the owner of China Gourmet on Route 9 in Framingham. The restaurant was called Samba West.

He is expected to be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on Friday, March 10.

Zhang is accused of intentionally damaging security video during a police investigation, after a patron from his restaurant struck a Southborough Police cruiser on Route 9.

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 April 30, 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, later was given a 17-day suspension of its liquor license for the subsequent crash,by Framingham Selectmen.

Two days of the latest alcohol license suspension have already been served.

China Gourmet also has agreed not to serve alcohol between April 2-16, said Framingham Deputy Police Chief Ron Brandolini.

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 Shi Yun Zhang, 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.

Zhang 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.

Lt. Wareham told Framingham Selectmen during an alcohol license public hearing Southborough Police said there is probably cause to charge Zhang with “obstruction of justice, interfering with a police investigation, and destruction of evidence.”

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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