A group of protesters broke the Plexiglas surrounding the outdoor dining area of a Greenwich Village restaurant late Thursday, cops said.
The demonstrators were in front of Mocha Burger on LaGuardia Place near West Houston Street around 8:10 p.m. when they smashed off a piece of the sidewalk shed’s transparent plastic covering, authorities said.
It was unclear whether anyone was dining there at the time.
No injuries were reported.
The suspects took off, heading south on LaGuardia Place, police said. Authorities did not have any specific information about the protest.
“Individuals participating in a protest this evening damaged property of a West Village restaurant,” the NYPD tweeted hours later. “We support peaceful protest but such vandalism continues to impose unnecessary financial hardship to small business owners. We will investigate these crimes.”
The incident comes months after looters damaged multiple businesses in Manhattan and elsewhere, during protests over George Floyd’s police-involved death in Minneapolis.
Jose Fuentes, a server at a nearby Dos Caminos restaurant, said, “It’s never okay to vandalize property that is not your own, especially in the time we are living in now,” referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a big corporation, we have lots of restaurants,” he said. “It’s easier to manage [the expense of repairs] than if you are a mom-and-pop restaurant.”
“Protest peacefully but don’t damage other people’s property,” he cautioned unruly protesters. “They have to pay to fix it.”