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Business near New Yorker Venue concerned with crime in area

Posted at 11:23 PM, Aug 30, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — One business that is located next to the New Yorker is speaking out.

This comes less than a week after a search warrant was executed on the private Salt Lake City venue, off Market Street.

Fred Boutwell is the Director of Operations for Market Street Grills. One of their restaurants is located right next to the New Yorker.

"Their restaurant or whatever it was down there didn't pick up until 12 in the morning, so what we saw was the aftermath," said Boutwell. "The sidewalk we're standing on now would be covered in garbage that we'd clean up every morning when we, when we had to open."

Boutwell says that also includes an incident that took place in a nearby parking back in June. Police say 22-year-old Halapaini Latu Moala died from a deadly shooting that took place in the area, near 60 West Market, just after 4 a.m. on June 4.

"That was in the parking lot one Sunday morning that my managers couldn't get in to open their restaurant because of police tape," said Boutwell.

All of which, Boutwell says, brought concerns for the safety of his employees.

"The bullet holes, the assaults, the murder, the stabbings, that was always a concern for me that that was present close to my building," said Boutwell.

The Salt Lake City Police Department, with the assistance of the Salt Lake City Fire Department, executed the search warrant on the venue, around 1 a.m. on August 26.

Police say they recovered four firearms, more than 100 bottles of alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and some cash.

Kody Valdez and Fetuao Fusitua, both 24, were arrested on charges of unlawful drug possession with the intent to distribute and the illegal possession of a firearm.

"There's that perception that all this crime is happening and they're right that it's not a perception, it's a reality that this crime is happening and you're going to avoid crime areas," said Boutwell.

This comes after Salt Lake City police enhanced patrols in the area back in June.

From June 9 through July 15, they were able to make 15 arrests, seizing six firearms and drugs.

FOX 13 News did reach out to the Salt Lake City Fire Department on Wednesday, who found the New Yorker to be in violation of the fire code on Saturday.

They say they have been working with the property owner to get issues addressed. Those issues, the fire department says, were simple code violations that had not been fixed at the time the search warrant was executed.

The fire department did not have information on whether the New Yorker is open or closed at this time.