Café D’Mongo’s owner gets apology from man who damaged business in Downtown Detroit

Family of man went to pay for the window and apologize in person

DETROIT – As his cognac is delivered, the piano player gently plays in a space no larger than a jewel box that is so much more than a bar or club.

What Cafe D’Mongo really typifies is a modern salon where the rich, famous, notorious, and everyday intersect, all presided over by Larry Mongo.

His past is filled with what could fill a book on Detroit’s Purple Gang, bootlegging, and numbers games. He’ll tell you he is all too well aware of what a real criminal looks like, which is why when 21-year-old Jared Geck was caught on camera hurling a chair through Cafe D’Mongo’s front window for no reason, he wasn’t impressed.

Detroit police tracked him down, had him in custody, and charged him. That’s when Mongo’s phone rang.

“His brother Joey called me,” Mongo said. “That young man could be a rapper. He was talking so fast, explaining what his brother means to him.”

Apologizing, admitting his brother did it, and detailing some things that had occurred. Mongo, who has seen it all in his life, made a decision.

“Instinct, the one that got me from I-73, kicked in, and I knew it wasn’t a lie,” Mongo said.

Mongo opted to give Geck a break and go to bat for him in court.

On Friday (May 12), the family came to pay for the window and apologize in person.

Mongo asked Geck’s father, who is in the building industry, to pay it forward and give a qualified minority candidate an apprenticeship.

“Your son got a second chance,” Mongo said. “Give some kid out there a first chance.”

See surveillance footage below

About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.