In the wake of Piazza at Schmidt’s slaying, restaurant owner is “soul searching”

In the wake of Monday morning’s fatal shooting at the Piazza at Schmidt’s -- which cops say was fueled by an argument that erupted on the patio of Tommy Up’s bar/burger joint, PYT -- Up sent his reflections on the violence to the Daily News.

It isn’t the first time violence has hit close to home for the burger joint.

Up, who was there Monday morning when Maurice Kimble, 25, was shot three times just outside PYT's patio and gave the victim mouth-to-mouth in an attempt to save him, wrote that the slaying has brought back memories of the violent rape and murder of Sabina Rose O’Donnell. O'Donnell, 20, a waitress at PYT, was strangled a few blocks from the bar on her way home from hanging out with friends one early-summer night two years ago.

Here's the full text of Up's statement:

So what to make of this does something like this happen outside of a place run and staffed by a bunch of pacifist beatniks who are just interested in making tasty burgers and showing our guests a great time? 

The soul searching has been intense, and I've thought about what I personally could have done to prevent it. Whether it makes sense or not, in my mind, memories of Sabina and what happened to her have been surfacing. Like, again, what could I have personally done to prevent more protective of people around me?

The thing about Sunday night, was that Ed Blammo and I were literally playing the Dirty Dancing soundtrack and we were all all high-fives and smiles. It was a full house with people smiling and eating burgers and sipping on watermelon beers. So one minute, I'm listening to Patrick Swayze sing his little heart out to "She's Like The Wind", and the next minute I'm giving mouth-to-mouth to a man I've never seen before screaming for an ambulance while my co-worker is pumping on his chest.

I'm sure there are details that will fill in the blanks later, but for the last few days the absolutely random looking nature of this horrible violence, and the realization- again- that there are people with no remorse, no human feelings...just walking amongst us. Reading about the Sandusky trial this morning, and hearing the details of what he did to those little boys, make me feel that it's that same callous disregard for another's feelings, their life, their value as a person...that this is what "evil" is. Not having a shred of empathy. Not being able to care for another person. 

I feel blessed to have so many wonderful, really just lovely people around me. I am feeling blessed that none of these people were hurt. And people who have been coming into the restaurant, friends who I have known forever or just the wonderful customers, have made me very grateful having these kinds of people around me.

I did not know the man this happened to, and I don't know the reasons, but as a human my heart goes out to his family and his loved ones. I know I tried my best to save him, as did my co-workers that night. I have never been more proud and amazed by a group of people in my life. I've never been at war, but if I did, I'd feel safe and secure if these people were at my side. 

And that's about all i got to say on this matter. Thank you.