Tech CEO died after security problem at upscale DC restaurant led to assault

 March 12, 2024

Tech CEO Vivek Taneja died February 7 after being assaulted at upscale Washington, D.C. restaurant Akedo on February 2, and the assault has now been blamed on a security problem at the restaurant. 

Taneja had an argument with the suspect in his death over his treatment of a woman he was dining with inside the restaurant, and then confronted him outside the restaurant at 2 a.m. when both were leaving.

The suspect, who has since been arrested and charged for the assault, reportedly punched Taneja, who fell and struck his head on the pavement outside the restaurant.

After several days of hospitalization, Taneja died of his injuries. He was only 41 years old.

Security issue

Police have said that the assault was directly related to a security issue in the restaurant, which resulted in a letter from police to the liquor control board asking them to look into the matter.

Chief Pamela Smith said in the letter that the assault and death was "directly related to the operations and security protocol at the establishment." A hearing is scheduled to be held about the issue.

A restaurant spokesperson said that the altercation took place in a nearby courtyard and that Taneja was found 300 feet away from the restaurant and out of sight lines.

The restaurant is cooperating with investigators and will continue to do so, the spokesperson said.

Crime wave

The homicide is part of a crime wave in the D.C. area, which has resulted in 13 homicides this year.

Muriel Bowser signed new crime legislation, the Secure D.C. Omnibus Amendment Act of 2024, on Monday.

Congressional approval is still needed, but the law strengthens gun penalties, gets stricter on organized theft, and expands the definition of carjacking.

The act creates drug-free zones and permits the collection of suspects’ DNA when charged with a violent or sex crime.

The D.C. council passed the law on Tuesday, but not without controversy. While there has been much hand-wringing over the rise in serious crime in D.C. and other big cities, those who advocate for equity in justice are uncomfortable that the law restores some powers to police that were stripped away after George Floyd's murder was widely protested.

It's clear that something needs to be done to bring down crime, and the left is unlikely to approve of anything that's actually effective.

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