Police are searching for a mob of masked vandals who barged in and trashed a seafood restaurant in Queens, New York.
On March 4, a group of teenagers took an elevator to the third floor of a corner mall in College Point and stormed into the Fish Village restaurant, wildly flipping tables and chairs while customers were eating at around 8:20 p.m.
The teens, who wore masks and hoodie sweatshirts, smashed dishes, shattered utensils and broke a window. Overall, the damages add up to a total of around $20,000.
A cell phone video of the incident was posted to Twitter on Wednesday by education and community activist Yiatin Chu, who lamented, “We’ve fallen so low that there’s no expectation of consequences for this horrific attack on private property.”
This video is going viral on WeChat. Fish Village, a restaurant in College Point, Qns was ransacked by a gang of masked kids in hoodies.
We’ve fallen so low that there’s no expectation of consequences for this horrific attack on private property. pic.twitter.com/DQdnHPR5r8
— Yiatin Chu (@ycinnewyork) March 7, 2023
According to restaurant manager Tony Hu, who does not speak English, the vandals were mostly of Asian or Hispanic descent, and about 30 customers were inside at the time of the incident.
“From the time they entered to the time they left, it only took a minute. They didn’t say a word. We have no idea what was happening. I was behind the register and was in shock. Then I ran to call 911, but by the time I got through, they were already gone,” Hu told CBS News.
Hu said the group consisted of about 20 people. While no one was physically injured, he is worried about the incident’s long-term impact on the business.
“This is a big financial loss. Especially our reputation to future customers,” Hu told CBS News. “Nobody wants to go to a place where things like this happen.”
Hu is also worried about his staff’s safety, noting that the group may possibly return.
The New York Police Department is currently investigating the incident.
Authorities noted that the vandals did not use weapons nor did they take any property with them.
Councilwoman Vickie Paladino, who visited the restaurant on Monday, said that while 50 police officers were recently added to her district, more officers are still needed to deal with similar incidents.
Curtis Sliwa, Guardian Angels founder and Republican nominee for the 2021 New York City mayoral election, told the New York Post his community-watch group will be patrolling the eatery.
“This was a wolfpack, a bunch of teenage thugs rampaging through the restaurant,” Sliwa told The Post. “Another Asian merchant gets treated like a speedbump.”
“Nothing is going to happen to [the criminals]. They will be charged as juveniles and be back out on the street. Their friends will see the video, and they will be treated as heroes in the ‘hood,” he added.
According to police, no arrests have yet been made.
Individuals with any information in relation to this case are urged to contact the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips.