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Former Mansion Sommelier Convicted of Reckless Manslaughter

Cole Avenue in front Komali and Salum parking lot. (from Google Maps)

Tim Parks, a former sommelier at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, was convicted last week of reckless manslaughter for the death of Roy Salinas. On Wednesday, September 5, jurors deliberated for two hours before they decided to sentence Parks to eight years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Parks is a longtime friend of Khanh Dao, the ex-owner of Pho Colonial, where he once worked as a maitre d’ and wine taster. And though the DMN story written after the sentencing acts as a good reminder never to drink and drive, there’s also a part of this story that’s important to mention for the patrons of Komali and Salum: Be careful when you pull out of that parking lot. It’s one of the most dangerous areas for Dallas drivers.

There are plenty of one-way warning signs along the street, yet people still drive the wrong way along Cole Avenue. Salum’s chef, Al Haven, said, “It happens all the time,” and he’s surprised he hasn’t seen an accident even though he witnesses cars treating the avenue like a two-way street almost daily. Also, the Komali/Salum parking lot is tricky if you’re not being careful. Cole has three lanes, but the leftmost lane is for street parking, and it’s hard to see oncoming traffic when there are cars covering your line of sight on either side.

That area in front of Komali and Salum is difficult to navigate even when the sun is shining. Now imagine it’s 11 p.m. and you’ve already had a couple of drinks in your system. Then it becomes a nightmare.

Jump with me here. It’s a complicated story.

Roy Salinas (photo by Elliot Munoz)

Here’s the CliffsNotes version: On June 28, 2011, Parks, 56, was drinking at Pekers on Oak Lawn starting in the afternoon. Later in the day, he and Khanh Dao sat down to a dinner of spaghetti that Parks had cooked and drank bottled water, according to Dao. She fell asleep and Parks borrowed her champagne-colored Mercedes to pick up his friend Jeffrey Dickey at Komali where they had drinks. Parks was driving Dickey home around 11 p.m. when he pulled out of the Komali parking lot onto Cole Avenue, and instead of turning left because Cole is a one-way, he turned right instead. According to his testimony, Dickey said, “You can’t turn right here.” Parks responded, “Look what I can do,” and failed to yield the right of way, colliding with Oak Cliff resident Roy Salinas, 35, as he was riding his vintage scooter after a showing of Larry Crowne.

Jurors at the trial decided Tim Parks committed reckless manslaughter due to the fact that he wasn’t supposed to drive in the first place. He hasn’t had a driver’s license since 1995 because of a DWI incident, and when police found Parks at the scene, he had a blood alcohol level of 0.22 and failed to recite the alphabet for a standard field sobriety test.

On Wednesday, September 5, jurors deliberated for two hours before they decided to sentence Parks with eight years in prison and $5,000 in fines.

Roy Salinas’ friends and family – many of them wearing Roy’s signature bow tie-look – breathed a collective sigh of relief when the verdict was read.

“I would say that for the most part, we’re glad that he’s not going to be in a position that he could impact another family the way he’s impacted ours, but it doesn’t really make a dent in how we feel about this and Roy,” says Salinas’ first cousin Elissa Garcia. “We’re trying to figure out how to live without him.”

As for Tim Parks, Dao says he keeps replaying the scene of the collision in his head. “He said that he feels bad for the family. It’s sad all around. Everyone loses. I’ve been in that parking lot so many times. Even pulling out of that parking lot, it’s dangerous. It could happen any day. At any moment. It could’ve happened to anybody. That particular parking lot at that particular restaurant… it could happen to you. You have to inch out.”

29 comments on “Former Mansion Sommelier Convicted of Reckless Manslaughter

  1. Any arguments about one way streets, or dangerous parking lots, or wrong way drivers went out the window with “he had a blood alcohol level of 0.22 “. It made all the difference in the outcome. Condolences to the family for their loss.

  2. Carol – Take a look at the google map photo you used. Cole has three lanes plus the parking lane along the curb. Both cars heading toward the camera are in the left lane – the lane that by law you turn in to when coming out of a driveway. Parks struck Roy in the center lane while he was traveling northbound toward the Sigels parking lot. And like Borborygmus mentioned, having a BAC three times over the legal limit trumps any other factors in this accident.

    It’s also interesting that Khanh Dao testified as a character reference and corroborated Parks ‘story’ that he had only had a few drinks that day… meanwhile there is no doubt that she’s liable in a civil trial for loaning her car to a twice previously convicted DUI offender who didn’t have a drivers license.

    These are bad folks who still haven’t taken responsibility for their actions. Seems that Phil Silva, Dao’s former partner in Pho Colonial, would agree – he kicked her out of the partnership under suspicions of embezzlement.

  3. I would point to the following chart. It should be printed on the side of every container of alcohol sold.

    http://www.brad21.org/bac_charts.html

    Assuming he was between 120 – 160 lbs, it would require 6-8 drinks. I cannot believe this man was served so many drinks, after a full meal, just at Komali. Nuh, unh.

    This was sad, all the way around. I don’t think Carol sounded like she was defending him. It’s good to have dialogue on topics like this.

  4. Eight years for taking an innocent young man’s life that was just starting and with so much promise? This repeat offender deserved the max sentence of 20 years. I can assure you if this happened to any members of the juries family they would have sentenced differently. Truth be told, drug dealers serve longer senteces. Justice was not served here by any means. This is a travesty and an unbelievable family loss of a loved one that did not deserve to die this way.

    RIP Roy Salinas………..

  5. I am so sorry for this family’s loss, sad.

    I have seen people driving the wrong way so many times in that area, during the day. Are they all drunk?

    Why are these streets one way anyway?

  6. Khanh Dao has a long history of being a reckless fraud, and these quotes galvanize that [correct] perception of her and her restaurants. Rather than take responsibility for her friend’s actions, she blames a parking lot that tens of thousands of people have exited with one fatality. I also doubt that a wine guy whos on that type of bender drinks “bottled water” with an italian meal at her restaurateur friend’s home. I call bullsh.

    And Salum… Eff- you too. According to this short record thats the last place this parasite was served….err should I say over-served.

    Salinas family, I hope you realize that serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated patrons is not only a crime, but also actionable in Court.

    Im so disgusted by this. These people (Dao and Salum) should be ridiculed and shouted down for this. Bunch of jerks. No idea who Roy Salinas was, but his death was preventable.

  7. Not really sure why the parking lot is being blamed for drunk driving. If this was such a dangerous road, wouldn’t there be a lot of accidents? I drive by here all the time, the road is mainly empty. Sorry for the loss of the family, but blaming a parking lot seems like a stretch.

  8. SHAME ON YOU, SIDEDISH & CAROL SHIH! As someone who lost their childhood best friend to a car accident, my heart goes out to the family & friends of the person that was hit. As an avid foodie & supporter of the restaurant industry in Dallas, I AM APPALLED AT BOTH SIDEDISH & CAROL SHIH FOR POSTING THIS STORY AS SOMETHING THAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED A TOPIC UNDER THE HEADING “A Daily Destination for Dallas Foodies.” What’s your point here??? Is it that if you go to Salum or Komlai you are more likely to get hit by a car than if you went anywhere else in Dallas? RIDICULOUS! I am a regular at Komali, & I have never had an accident (or near-accident) leaving the parking lot. I also happen to know both Chef Al Haven & Chef Abraham Salum, & I also know that Chef Al Haven NEVER GAVE THE QUOTE LISTED IN THIS POST. What is the upside for SideDish and Carol Shih in listing Komali and Salum 3 times as if they had something to do with the accident? I hope that you apologize about your shameful attempt at shock value to both the deceased and to the folks at Salum & Komali- & I hope that I am not the only reader that you lost because of it.

  9. To everyone reding this post:
    Tim parks was NOT served at Komali or Salum, he did NOT have drinks as the article states. Carol did not speak to my sous chef she made up the quote (so much for being a journalist), the facts are wrong. What a shame that this blog that is supposed to be about food and for food has become a place where people condem each other. Shame on you Carol Shih for the article you have written. You have no idea how many people you have hurt, karma is a bitch!
    Glenn Campbell, feel free to call me anytime so I can explain the facts that were stated in court and hopefully you will never read the postings of this woman again.

  10. Absolutely pathetic piece of “journalism”. Beyond ignorant to try and pass blame on to anyone but a habitual drunkard who is getting away with murder. The parking lot and dangerous intersection? Really? That drunk bastard has absolutely no excuses and is about to encounter a lot of accidental collisions in prison. This is an informative site for restaurant related news but don’t delve into anything beyond that.

  11. This is just pathetic. I’m done with Sidedish and D Magazine. Carol Shih – you should be ashamed as should your editors. I am very sorry for the Salinas family, but this blog is about our cities dining destinations, not what parking lot might be difficult to navigate. Are you kidding me? I’m curious Ms. Shih, did you look at how many reported accidents have happened coming out of the Salum/Komali parking lot? Do tell. I’ll bet if you did any research whatsoever you’d find more accidents happen at the corner of Lemmon and Cole – I guess we should blame the city, or better yet the potted plant that blocks your view when trying to turn right. Afterall, it’s not my responsibility to be a safe driver – right? Glenn Campbell – before you start shouting down people get the facts, which of course you have none of, and don’t rely on such poor reporting and “Cliffs Notes” as Ms. Shih put it. Abraham Salum is a good person and has done much for the the people of Dallas donating so much time for charities I am close to and have worked with. I can’t thank him or his staff enough. I will continue to go to Komali and Salum and navigate that trecherous parking lot. Maybe Ms. Shih could navigate towards better journalism.

  12. Abraham- Seriously? You want to talk about fact stated in court? I sat behind the lawyer that you paid to be in court to listen to the same testimony. You had THREE employees testify that Parks was given a ‘complimentary’ glass of wine. I’m guessing the lawyers have stressed the complimentary, because your employees all made a point to mention it. I can understand that you don’t want the negative publicity, but to lie in public about it and to attempt to discredit the journalist who wrote this blog post is not smart. Instead of hiring an attorney next time you should hire a PR pro who can help keep you from making mistakes like this.

  13. How did this story go from a guy at the Mansion to Salum and Komali’s parking lot and drinking there? Carol must want to be a traffic cop all of a sudden because her journalism skills suck, and clearly you must be a total sMORON if you don’t know how to drive around a parking lot.

    After this blatant attack on Komali and Salum, I hope Abraham Salum called his attorney immediately.

    Oh, and Glen Campbell and RJ, Go sFUCK YOURSELVEs you looser MFers. If this story isn’t true it’s pay back time.!

  14. I would love to see the data used to confirm that the Cole/Fitzhugh area is one of the “most dangerous” for drivers. I would think that’s only true for people who just moved here. Also, Nancy said Carol attended the “court hearing” during the trial. Do you mean the sentencing hearing?

  15. Carol was in court and heard testimony that the driver was served complimentary wine. When he left the restaurant he blew three times the legal limit.

    Carol drove to the restaurant to talk to Abraham, who declined. She spoke withe sous chef Al Haven. Carol asked Haven which quotes she could use. He decided against a couple but approved the quote she gave above.

  16. I did go to Salum and talk to Al Haven in person last Saturday. Also, I tried simulating the area where Tim Parks pulled out of the parking lot and turned onto Cole. I thought I was going the wrong direction at first because a car was headed straight for me. It was terrifying. I wrote about this in an earlier draft, but for some reason I took it out. I also talked to DA Trey Stock who confirmed that complimentary wine was served to the driver.

  17. So, you talk to a Sous Chef, who is in the kitchen for quotes about a police matter outside the place before you lambast both restaurants? Hmmmmm.

    Why are we not hearing about the other establishments who GOT THE GUY DRUNK to begin with?

    Carol Shih has been nothing but an intern up until now. As a previous wedding and freelance music writer, I would expect a little more oversight by D Mag. before Carol needs to go back to the intern desk with a dunce cap on. She is not ready for investigative journalism.

  18. I sat in that courtroom and listened to three people testify under oath that Tim Parks had a glass of white wine at Komali that evening, including the woman who poured the actual beverage!

    Abraham – You are a liar. Plain and simple. While I don’t blame your restaurant for this accident, you belong alongside Khahn Dao in the pathetic pool of spineless idiots who will say and do anything to protect your image. I didn’t see you in the courtroom during the trial….why did you not make yourself available to the defense if you are so adamant that he did not have anything to drink? They really could have used your testimony.

  19. First, intended or not this post does appear to come off as some sort of defense of Parks, who deserves to go to jail for a lot longer than 8 years. Second, the description of Parks and Dickey meeting “at Komali where they had drinks” certainly implies that Parks had more than one glass of wine at Komali, complimentary or not. Third, Komali apparently served wine to Parks while he already was completely soused, given his BAC of .22.

    In summary, post misguided, post misleading, Komali served drunk guy, drunk guy killed innocent bystander.

  20. JS – your summary is spot on, “In summary, post misguided, post misleading, Komali served drunk guy, drunk guy killed innocent bystander.” I know three of Roy Salinas’ friends and met him once. From what I know, he was a good guy–one that made his friend’s world (and Dallas) a better place. RIP – wish I had an opportunity to know you better. I grieve for my friend’s loss…

  21. To make this story “relevant” for this blog Carol gave Tim an inflated title for a job he had eons ago. In all actuality, this story and this “reporting” doesn’t belong here.

  22. This story is pretty crappy, and it actually does zero justice to the case. The defense was full of lies during the trial. The defense attorney was incompetent. He couldn’t even get the deceased man’s last name correct on multiple occasions! All brown people must be named Santos, right?

    Parks was embarrassingly drunk. He could not say his ABC’s in the video of the field sobriety test. He couldn’t count backwards. Yet someone (Leanne?) at Komali thought he needed a free glass of wine?

    Parks must be one smooth operator… Or perhaps the Komali staff needs a refresher course in their TABC training.

  23. So this guy, a former (washed up) sommelier for The Mansion is now the manager of a well publicized downtown restaurant, Pho Colonial. He borrows his bosses car (a well known member of the foodie scene, former owner of Steel, Draliaon, etc) and goes to pick up his friend, a bartender at Komali. While at Komali he has a drink. He then kills a man when he turns the wrong way on a one-way street with a BAC of .22. The owner of Komali is one of the first people out of the restaurant to witness the accident. During the trial 3 employees from Komali testify. The owner of Pho Colonial testifies. And you still say this isn’t a classic Dallas foodie drama? You people on Sidedish love this story as long as your favorite restaurant of the minute isn’t the focus.

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