Local restaurant a target for vandalism, even on Christmas morning

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque family woke up on Christmas morning to vandalism at their restaurant. It’s the fourth time the restaurant has been hit since Halloween with the last incident just two weeks ago. The owners of Taste Of India said they got a call around 9 a.m. on Christmas about the damage at the restaurant.

“I just gasped, gasped like, out loud just when I heard that. It took me a minute to understand what’s going on again,” said Aakash Bajaj, whose family owns the restaurant.

Surveillance video shows a car pulling up to the restaurant in the early morning hours. A man then throws something at the restaurant and then takes a tin can trash can to its window. The man then throws bags of trash at the restaurant. At one point, it looks like someone confronts the vandal and ends up on the ground.

“We feel pretty bad too. Like, the person didn’t have anything better to do on Christmas Day,” Bajaj said. This isn’t the first time the restaurant has been hit by a vandal. It is the fourth time since Halloween. The last incident happened two weeks ago when a man, who the owners think is also the Christmas day vandal, threw bottles at the restaurant breaking windows and damaging the door. Past incidents included rocks wrapped in newspapers with racial slurs written on them that were thrown at the restaurant.

“We just feel like, I don’t know how to explain it… like super weird, scared. Just like all these emotions at the same time,” Bajaj said. This latest incident didn’t include any racial slurs but did set the business back about $600 to clean it all up.

“It’s not just about like, the money it takes to fix everything…what’s going through the person’s mind is really hard to understand,” Bajaj said. He said they have no choice but to clean up and open up.

“Moving forward I mean, we have to open our business. We have to have some income,” he said. But the family hopes vandals think twice before striking again.

“Hopefully, just to understand what are you doing to the other person. Just think about it before doing something like this. And just like, to have a better state of mind. Doing this to another human being is so bad,” Bajaj said.

APD said it responded to the call of vandalism at the restaurant around 8 a.m. on Christmas. It said no offenders were in the building when officers arrived and that it is “keeping an eye on the business.”

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