Restaurant Denies Blame for Deadly Shootout

DALLAS (CN) – The former franchisee of a Twin Peaks “breastaurant” in Waco denies responsibility for the gunshot death of a Dallas-area man, blaming rival biker gangs for the shootout with police that left nine dead.
     Mary E. Rodriguez and her family sued Chalak Mitra Group, Peaktastic Beverage, Front Burner Restaurants and Twin Restaurant Investment Co. on July 2 in Dallas County Court .
     She said her late husband, Jesus Delgado Rodriguez, 65, was not a member of any motorcycle gang when he was killed in the May 17 parking lot shootout between the Cossacks, the Bandidos and police.
     Another 18 people were injured and 177 people have been arrested and held on $1 million bonds in McLennan County. Multiple lawsuits have been filed, citing the identical charges filed against people who say they just happened to be there.
     Franchisees Chalak and Peaktastic responded to Rodriguez’s lawsuit on Aug. 28, claiming that everyone who entered the restaurant “with the intent to engage in a confrontation with others” acted without the authority of the restaurant and were criminally trespassing.
     “Plaintiffs’ own conduct and/or the conduct of third parties is the cause of any harm that plaintiffs’ claim in this case,” the 6-page answer states . “Plaintiffs’ claims are barred as a result of their own negligence, which contributed in whole or in part to the alleged damages.”
     The franchisees claim there is evidence that unidentified third parties at the shootout are responsible for Jesus Delgado Rodriguez’s death.
     His widow claims that days before the shootout, Twin Peaks’ national headquarters in Dallas failed to cancel the event despite being contacted by police. She claims that when police tried to enter the restaurant on the day of the event, managers asked them to leave.
     Rodriguez says the defendants failed to provide adequate security and profited from “gathering together armed rival gangs to sell them” booze.
     “Twin Peaks’ conduct is an extreme example of putting profits ahead of known danger to the public, even after multiple warnings from authorities and specific knowledge of the risk,” the complaint states. “Defendant’s negligent conduct was more than momentary thoughtlessness or inadvertence. Rather, defendants’ conduct involved an extreme degree of risk, considering the probability and magnitude of the potential harm to decedent.”
     The franchisees ask the court to declare that the widow and her family “take nothing” and pay for the costs of the lawsuit. They are represented by James Winton with Baker & Hostetler in Houston.

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