Neighbors know Hiro's Steakhouse on 4th Street N. for loud noise and gun shots, not sushi
Alison Morrow , Courtney Whitaker
9:00 PM, Jul 3, 2013
7:34 AM, Jul 4, 2013
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -
Neighbors nearby Hiro's
Tokyo Steakhouse and Sushi Restaurant on 4th
Street North in St. Petersburg know the eatery for more than its food.
"The other day, I got woken up, 1:30 in the morning, there was a mob of at least 50 or 60 people out there, screaming, fighting, just like a mob fight," one female neighbor said.
The woman is so scared of retaliation, she asked ABC Action News not to identify her. Her bedroom window gives her a clear view of the restaurant and she says her lace curtains aren't quite thick enough.
"I hunker down and hide and hope the bullet doesn't come through the window," she said. "It is just a madhouse and it's dangerous."
Early Wednesday morning, St. Petersburg Police received calls about gunshots behind the restaurant. A bullet grazed one woman in the head and struck another man's leg. Neither injury is life-threatening.
At least two shooters are now on the run, but police made one arrest on the scene. Aron Headley is charged with bashing two car windshields with a baseball bat.
"I live near the neighborhood, and I'm afraid where bullets go up, obviously, they come down," explained William Thomas. "All this kind of rowdiness going on is eventually going to lead to this sort of thing."
Since January, officers have broken up at least five fights and an aggravated battery outside the restaurant.
For a night club, the amount of calls for service aren't shocking, according to SPPD Spokesman Mike Puetz.
However, neighbors believed they were moving in next to a restaurant.
SPPD believes the fights may stem from disagreements inside the restaurant which continue in the parking lot.
Neighbors call Hiro's a restaurant that turns into a club scene around midnight. Many nights, it's open until 3am. One neighbor reports consistently calling tow trucks to remove vehicles from his parking spots.
According to Robert Heyman, the attorney representing Hiro's, its owners plan to hire a couple off-duty police officers as well as install cameras and extra lights outside.
"There are some places in town where they are dangerous places and they expect shootings. Hiro's is not one of those places," Heyman said. "They have every interest in being a good neighbor."
Even if Hiro's has plans to make peace, neighbors still have plans to keep police on speed dial.