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Killer of Oakland homeless man no longer works for Flora Restaurant
by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com)
Friday Oct 27th, 2017 10:13 PM
It appears that it is business as usual back at the Flora Restaurant and bar, downtown Oakland. It also appears that none of the customers at Flora Restaurant and bar are mourning the death of Cooky York, the homeless man who allegedly was murdered by the former bartender Juan Espino, for panhandling near the restaurant/bar.
Killer of Oakland homeless man no longer works for Flora Restaurant

By Lynda Carson - October 27, 2017

Oakland - Reportedly, Juan Espino a bartender at the Flora Restaurant and bar, an upscale restaurant / bar located downtown Oakland, owned by Dona Savitsky and Thomas Schnetz, brutally murdered an Oakland panhandler.

As reported on Indy Bay, a community news site, Juan Espino, age 29, was charged on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, with the brutal murder of 42-year old Cooky York, a homeless man, for panhandling near the restaurant/bar, owned by Dona Savitsky and Thomas Schnetz.

Flora Restaurant and bar is listed with the Secretary of State as the Flora/Fauna Restaurant LLC. Business license number 201533410119. Its status is active, and the registration date is 11/23/2015. Thomas Schnetz is listed as the agent for service of process. Flora is the restaurant, and Fauna is the bar.

According to the public records with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), the liquor license for Flora/Fauna Restaurant LLC is about to expire. License number 575089, expires a few days from now on October 31, 2017.

The license was transferred to Flora/Fauna Restaurant LLC on November 9, 2016 from Tacubaya LLC (restaurant), owned by Dona Emile Savitsky and Thomas Earl Schnetz.

It was on the afternoon of Sunday afternoon October 22, 2017, that Cooky York, a homeless man in Oakland, was panhandling in front of Flora Restaurant and bar at 1900 Telegraph Avenue, downtown Oakland. The poor man probably had no idea that someone was about to take his life from him a moment later for panhandling in front of the restaurant/bar. He had no idea that the bartender at the Flora Restaurant and bar was about to brutally murder him with a baseball bat.

One can only wonder if the management knew that the bartenders at Flora Restaurant kept a baseball bat handy just in case there was a need for it, or if the owners of the restaurant/bar owned the bat that was used to kill Cooky York.

Reportedly, as it turned out, after Cooky York was finished panhandling near Flora Restaurant and bar, and was walking away, the bartender of the restaurant/bar came outside and hit York in the back of the head with a baseball bat. York died later at the hospital, and Juan Espino was arrested at his home after leaving the crime scene that afternoon.

According to public records with the State of California, a Juan Espino of Oakland is listed as residing near 7th Avenue, and E. 19th Street, before landing in the Oakland Jail, or Santa Rita.

Business As Usual At Flora Restaurant

On Friday evening October 27, I called Flora Restaurant around 7:48 PM. A woman named Meghan answered the phone. The noise in the background was loud, but I could still hear Meghan clearly. I asked if I may speak with Juan Espina. Meghan calmly stated that Juan is not in this evening. When I asked Meghan if Juan still worked there, Meghan stated that Juan does not work there any longer.

Meghan did not state why Juan Espina, a bartender, was no longer employed at Flora Restaurant and bar. And she did not mention that Juan Espina murdered Cooky York for panhandling near the restaurant/bar less than a week ago, while he was working there as a bartender.

Still very curious, I called Flora Restaurant back a moment later at around 8:12 PM. This time I spoke with a woman who called herself Molly. I told Molly I was working on a story about the death of Cooky York. Then I asked Molly if Juan Espino quit, or if he was fired from his job as a bartender at the restaurant/bar. Molly stated that she really could not say.

I also asked if there were any candles on the side walk near the restaurant where Cooky York was hit in the head with a baseball bat by the bartender, Juan Espino. Molly stated that I should speak with the manager to get some answers to my questions.

Molly stated that the name of the manager was Laura. When I asked if Laura had a last name, Molly stated that there was only one person working at the restaurant/bar named Laura, and that she may not want me to give out her last name.

Then I finally asked Molly if business at the restaurant/bar has slowed down at all since Cooky York was killed by the bartender last Sunday. Molly said no, it has not slowed down.

It appears that it is business as usual back at the Flora Restaurant and bar. It also appears that none of the customers at Flora Restaurant and bar are mourning the death of Cooky York, the homeless man who allegedly was murdered by the former bartender Juan Espino, for panhandling.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com

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Update: Juan Espino is scheduled to return to court on November 30, 2017Lynda CarsonSaturday Oct 28th, 2017 2:17 AM