ELK GROVE (CBS13) – Authorities arrested a man accused of spray-painting hate speech on the front of a restaurant, the Elk Grove Police Department announced on Thursday.
Elk Grove resident Lahn Hansen, 43, was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail and faces various charges including committing a hate crime.
The incident happened at around 5 a.m. on Thursday at Umai Bar and Grill along Grant Line Road. Elk Grove police said officers arrived to find the hate-related graffiti and front of the business vandalized.
Feng Liang is the owner of Umai Bar and Grill.
"It makes us a little more afraid," Liang said. "It did hurt but we're not going to let that get to us."
Hansen was reportedly caught on surveillance footage and identified. Police said he was located in the area of Bond and Bradshaw roads. Evidence linking Hansen to the Umai Bar and Grill incident was located inside of his vehicle, authorities said. Additionally, police said they located narcotics, burglary tools and items related to a previously reported church burglary.
"I want this community to know that crimes targeted at any demographic will not be tolerated in Elk Grove," said Elk Grove Police Chief Timothy Albright. "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."
The Elk Grove community came together Thursday to make sure the hateful words weren't up for long.
"All of them came out and helped us clean. We're very thankful for all of them," Liang said.
Since the pandemic began, Umai says sales are down 60% even while they continue indoor and outdoor dining, defying public health guidelines.
"Business is already hard at the moment," Liang said. "It makes you wonder what's going on if we need to be extra careful nowadays."
Janie O'Malley, the director for OCA, an Asian-American advocacy group in Sacramento, says hate like this can be infectious.
"We're kind of at a heightened state of alert because of the racist rhetoric that came out of the start of the pandemic. With the president calling COVID-19 the Chinese flu," O'Malley said. "It translated down the pipe, we started getting dirty looks."
But Liang and her crew will keep these doors open.
"We're staying positive we're really strong," she said. "They really love us here."
Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen showed her support for the restaurant by condemning the vandalism and encouraging the Elk Grove community to purchase their next meal from Umai Bar and Grill.
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