KIRO News Seattle Premises Liability Attorney

Perey Law Group – KIRO News

ANGELA RUSSELL: Meantime, an Auburn man is suing Denny’s after a shooting at a Kent restaurant left him paralyzed.

STEVE RAIBLE: Lawyers for that man say the restaurant owners did nothing to stop ongoing problems. Camera Seven Eyewitness News South Sound reporter Kevin McCarty is live in Auburn where he has talked to the man who is filing that lawsuit.


KEVIN MCCARTY: Steve, this lawsuit alleges that Denny’s knew that that Kent restaurant was a hotspot for crime but that they failed to take action. Because of that, say attorneys, a man was left paralyzed after he was hit by a stray bullet.

On the night of January 21st, 2007, Steve Tolenoa’s life changed forever. Tolenoa and his brother had moved to the U.S. from Micronesia. Both worked for the post office. Two years ago, the men went for a late-night meal at a Denny’s restaurant on Central Avenue in Kent when a fight that began in the bar spilled out into the restaurant.

STEVE TOLENOA: And next thing you know, there was a fight, just across our table.

KEVIN MCCARTY: Kent police say one of the men involved in the fight, Frank Evans [phonetic] left the Denny’s then came back with a gun and began shooting. Five people were hit by gunfire, including Tolenoa, who was struck in the spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed.

Tolenoa and another customer, Lisa Beltran Walker [phonetic], who was also injured, are suing Denny’s claiming the restaurant and its manager knew the business was trouble prone but did nothing about it.

MALE VOICE: Lack of adequate security.


KEVIN MCCARTY: Towanowa’s attorneys say their research has uncovered 30 police calls each year at the restaurant between 2005 and 2008 that include assaults, thefts, and rape.



KEVIN MCCARTY: They say Denny’s and the Kent restaurant’s district manager were on notice regarding repetitive and dangerous criminal activity but did nothing about it.

RON PEREY: It’s a problem throughout the country in 24/7 restaurant. Denny’s is the biggest 24/7 restaurant.

KEVIN MCCARTY: I made contact with the public relations firms that represents Denny’s. I was told that a statement regarding this lawsuit would be sent to me through the email. So far, that hasn’t arrived. By the way, Frank Evans, the man who opened fire in that Denny’s two years ago, has been convicted and sentenced to 63 years in prison in connection with those shooting. Live in Auburn, Kevin McCarty, Camera Seven Eyewitness News.