KetMoRee Thai Restaurant & Bar in Davis has long been a popular late night club with the college-aged crowd but often has been the source of trouble in the form of fights and drunkenness. On Friday night this scene turned deadly, leading to one 23-year-old man being dead, a 25-year-old being charged with homicide and two more at large following a fight early Saturday morning.
Assistant Police Chief Darren Pytel told the Vanguard that police responded to a fight inside the bar located at 238 G Street at approximately 1:30 am on Saturday morning.
When officers arrived they found a 23-year-old male from Southern California suffering from a serious injury consistent with being stabbed. The victim was transported to UC Davis Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Sources told the Vanguard that the victim may have been the brother of the bride in a wedding party staying at a nearby hotel. Assistant Chief Pytel told the Vanguard, “There are no indications the victim did anything to provoke the fight.”
The victim’s name has not yet been released by the Yolo County Coroner, pending an autopsy reportedly scheduled for Monday.
Assistant Chief Pytel described it as an active investigation, where leads have identified three young adult males who were involved in the fight. One male, 25 years old and from Vacaville, was arrested on homicide charges. Several search warrants have been served and detectives are actively looking for the two additional outstanding suspects.
Detectives have not ruled out gang involvement regarding the three suspects.
KetMoRee remained closed throughout the day on Saturday, surrounded by yellow tape as investigators from the Davis Police Department and Yolo County Sheriff’s Department worked the crime scene.
KetMoRee has long been troubled by late night violence, with at least one previous stabbing.
Meanwhile, Davis continues its string of murders. From 2004 to 2011, there were no murders at all in the city of Davis. Then in October 2011, James Mings was arrested for murder in a strange case where a jury would ultimately find Mr. Mings guilty of attempted murder, instead of either first- or second-degree murder.
Then there was the infamous Daniel Marsh double murder in the spring of 2013, where the Davis teenager stabbed to death an elderly couple in their Davis home. In May of 2014, a Yolo County jury acquitted Davis resident Quentin Stone, accused of shaking his three-month-old baby, ultimately causing his death.
In September of 2013, Aquelin Talamantes was arrested and accused of drowning her five-year-old daughter. The defense had argued not guilty by reason of insanity. The jury convicted her and she received a 25 years to life sentence.
Darnell Dorsey is accused of assaulting his girlfriend’s child, causing the child’s death in Davis. That case is still pending and the defense has argued that there is no direct evidence tying Mr. Dorsey to the murder.
Most recently Joseph Hein, 23, shot 27-year-old Whitney Engler and took his own life this spring. The coroner confirmed the murder-suicide scenario. An autopsy report released this week gave few clues about Mr. Hein’s motive for the murder. Although it did turn up a note detailing that he planned to take his own life, it did not specify why or the reason he killed Ms. Engler as well.
—David M. Greenwald reporting