Crime And Law

Police investigating COVID-motivated vandalism at Riverside restaurant

RIVERSIDE — Riverside police are investigating business damage and vandalism at a restaurant, in what is being called a hate crime by Riverside Area Chamber of Commerce.

Police responded on Tuesday to International Foods and Xuan Vietnamese- Thai Cuisine Restaurant on report of damage done to the business and a strong smell of gasoline.

The owner arrived at the business to find his delivery truck and the side of his building had been vandalized with spray paint.

The officer on scene found the kitchen’s exterior vent hood had been ripped off.

Police discovered that the suspects covered the security camera in spray paint as well.

It is unknown if police have identified a suspect in the case.

The Riverside Area Chamber of Commerce posted about the incident on Thursday, saying the business was “targeted by a racial hate criminal act blaming them for the virus.”

Nopp Mangmeesup, the owner of Xuan Vietnamese- Thai Cuisine, said that the damage is done and fears it could happen again.

“I have lived in this country for 5 years so I don’t bring the virus, I don’t know anything about it, I actually have never been to China, so it’s definitely not fair. I love all kind of people,” said Mangmeesup.

In light of the vandalism, community members like Katrina Smiley are still showing up to give their support to the business.

“I think there is a lot of people who completely disagree with what happened and they know that there a lot of people support them,” Smiley said.

Riverside police ask anyone who knows information about this crime to call their department at 937-233-1801.

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