A man has been arrested for vandalizing a sushi restaurant in Elk Grove, California with an anti-Asian message.
Umai Bar & Grill, located near Grant Line and Wilton Roads, saw its front windows spray-painted with the words “F*** gook” on Thursday morning, while garbage and a corrosive agent was splattered around its entrance.
Surveillance footage shows a man coming to the area to commit the acts.
“It just terrifies you, like what kind of people could do something like that in this time of year? When we’re battling with COVID, battling with just staying open and keeping employees, right? And to see it like that, it makes you really disappointed, just disappointed in people in general,” Umai co-owner Feng Liang told ABC10.
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Lahn Hansen, 43, was identified as the man on the footage. He was arrested after 8:30 p.m. on the same day.
Police found evidence related to the crime after searching his vehicle. They also recovered items related to an earlier church burglary, burglary tools and narcotics, according to FOX40.
Umai, which means “delicious,” celebrated its third anniversary in May. But like many other local businesses, it also struggled amid COVID-19 lockdowns, seeing a sales drop of up to 60%.
“The first shut down was incredibly difficult for us,” Feng told the Elk Grove Tribune. “The second is even harder because each day we try to just keep our hopes up and we try to stay positive.”
Friends, customers and community members all came together to help clean up Thursday’s mess.
“Out of all of this negative has come so much positive,” Feng added.
Hansen is now facing multiple charges, including a hate crime. Elk Grove Police Chief Timothy Albright assured the community that similar incidents will not be tolerated.
“I want this community to know that crimes targeted at any demographic will not be tolerated in Elk Grove,” Albright said, according to CBS13. “Elk Grove will not allow the inexcusable actions of one person to tarnish the dedication this community has to fostering a climate of inclusivity, diversity, and respect.”
Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen also condemned the recent incident in a statement. She encouraged people to support Umai.
“What happened to Umai Bar and Grill and the racist message that was used is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our city. While police were investigating, it was very important to me to stop by the restaurant to share my empathy and support with the owners on behalf of our Elk Grove community,” Singh-Allen said. “I want to encourage all residents to show their support and condemn this attack by ordering your next meal from them. Let’s unite and say no to hateful attacks like this.”
Feature Images via Elk Grove Police Department (left) and Umai Bar & Grill (right)