SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A Thai restaurant in Pacific Beach has been vandalized twice in the last six months. Owners believe they are the victims of Asian hate crimes.
On October 6, 2020, surveillance video captured someone in a dark-colored sedan throw a bottle at diners eating at the patio of Hot or Not Thai Cuisine in Pacific Beach. Restaurant co-owner Jarred Gienapp immediately reported the incident to San Diego Police.
"I didn't think anything of it," Gienapp said. "I thought maybe the car [driver] knew the people who were sitting outside. I had no clue."
Then Gienapp saw a post on the police department's Instagram account, asking the public to be on the lookout for a dark-colored sedan. It said that in February, a driver threw a bottle at another Thai restaurant in Pacific Beach while yelling racial slurs at two black guests. Gienapp couldn't help but notice the parallels.
"Similar incident, similar make and model of the vehicle drove by," Gienapp said.
He was hoping things would die down, but on April 6, another incident happened at his restaurant. This time, a driver in a dark-colored sedan threw eggs toward 15 diners on the patio. Gienapp was convinced that this was not a coincidence anymore, and that they had become a target of what he believed was a series of hate crimes against Asian establishments.
"The employees here are very frustrated concerned, and scared," Gienapp said.
Last Friday, Gienapp met with City Council President Jennifer Campbell and the Asian American Pacific Islander community liaison of the police department to share his concerns. Campbell's office sent ABC 10news this statement:
"Last week, members of the San Diego Police Department and I met with Jarred, the owner of Hot or Not Thai in PB. After his restaurant was vandalized twice, it was clear this was more than just a random incident. We want to make it clear to Jarred, and anyone else who has been targeted because of who they are or where they work, that hate and violence will not be tolerated in our city. If you or someone you know has been victimized by a hate crime, don't stay silent. Reach out to the San Diego Police Department. We're all in this together."
"Asian hate, LGBT hate, race or color hate. I just think it needs to stop. Everyone needs to be treated equally."
San Diego Police have not said that the three incidents are connected. However, they are still looking for the driver of the bottle-throwing incident.