JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Daniel Rowe’s family has filed a lawsuit against the owners of the building that houses the Blind Rabbit restaurant in the Riverside area.
Rowe, a 20-year-old father, was shot and killed July 22, 2015, while taking out the garbage in an alley behind the Blind Rabbit, near the intersection of King and College streets.
Erron Coleman, 25, has been charged with Rowe's murder, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced this week.
The family's lawsuit, filed on the one-year anniversary of his death against 901 King Street, LLC and Accubuild Construction Corporation, claims that proper security measures at the property could have prevented Rowe's murder.
Zachary Von Roenn and Howard Butler, who are representing the Rowe family, said there is evidence of criminal activity in the same area where Daniel was killed.
“At this same location, just three months before this young 20-year-old was taking out the trash and was robbed and shot, there was a prior robbery and getaway at the same property,” Butler said.
The attorneys provided pictures illustrating the distance from the location of the unsolved robbery to the spot where Rowe was shot.
The lawsuit states the building owners -- at the time of Rowe’s murder -- did not have enough lights and cameras like the ones that are around the restaurant now.
But the attorney defending the owners says there was proper security in place and they shouldn’t take the blame for the crime.
“The allegations of the complaint make it sound like there was negligence or alleged that there was negligence because there were no security cameras, but there were, and there wasn’t enough lights, but there was, and all these are issues that will be decided by a jury if anything was wrong,” attorney Mark Rubin said.
The lawsuit says that despite the building owners’ knowledge that a lack of adequate security measures placed people at significant risk of being injured or killed as the result of criminal activity, the owners failed to:
- Perform a vulnerability assessment regarding its subject premises
- Properly secure and control the common areas located at the rear of the property
- Provide adequate lighting for the common areas located at the rear of the property
- Provide sufficient security measures, but not limited to the use of video surveillance cameras, motion detectors and other similar devices
- Properly landscape the surrounding area, including but not limited to trimming and removing shrubbery so as to eliminate areas where criminal activity can be concealed from view
- Provide reasonable adequate security personnel on the evening of July 22, 2015, the night Daniel Rowe was murdered.
“The parents recognize that nothing can bring Daniel back, but if they can prevent this from happening to another family, I think that would mean the world to them,” Von Roenn said.
Even though police have arrested one person in the murder of Daniel Rowe, investigators say there is another person still out there who was involved.
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
The lawsuit also cites that Daniel Rowe’s fiancee, who was pregnant when he was killed, miscarried after his death due to severe emotional distress.
Von Roenn said the lawsuit is really about Rowe's child, Amelia-Rae, and his fiancee's child, Colby, who “was for all intents and purposes Daniel's adopted child.”Daniel Rowe’s fiancee, who was pregnant when he was killed, miscarried after his death due to severe emotional distress.
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