Man arrested in connection to Christmas vandalism at Albuquerque restaurant


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  Police have arrested a man they say targeted a local restaurant on multiple occasions. In the last several months, Taste of India, off Juan Tabo and Indian School has been vandalized four times. Handwritten notes with racial slurs were also left behind.

After the first two incidents, Albuquerque Police set up surveillance on the business. They say 47-year-old Thuran Johnson is the man seen on video throwing bottles at the restaurant and taking a tin trash can to the window. Police say they were able to locate him at his apartment wearing the same jacket as seen on video, committing the two vandalism, and was arrested without incident. Police say someone came forward after recognizing him on the news. “We take any allegation of a hate crime seriously and take action however we can to protect victims in our community,” APD Interim Chief Harold Medina said in a news release.

Since Halloween, the restaurant has been vandalized four times. On Dec. 11, officers set up surveillance when someone drove up to Taste of India and threw two glass bottles at the windows during business hours while people were inside the restaurant. On Christmas day, officers say the same vehicle was seen on video pulling up to the business before throwing the rock and trash can at the windows. Officers determined from the video the man from the December 11 incident and on Christmas day was the same individual.

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