ATLANTA — Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said vandalism at a restaurant with strong political ties to the city was a form of intimidation.
The owner of Manuel’s Tavern, Brian Maloof, said he showed up early Wednesday morning to find graffiti on the side of the building and windows.
“The Mayor’s name was on there and a whole bunch of vulgar, nasty stuff,” Maloof told Channel 2′s Courtney Francisco.
He said someone put glue in the door locks in an effort to slow anyone from getting inside.
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“You could smell the superglue,” Maloof said.
He said surveillance video shows at least five people took part.
“You could see in the video how well it was orchestrated, you know, with the lookout, some people spray painting, some people with glue,” Maloof said.
Manuel’s Tavern is a spot known for political meetings and election watch parties.
“We’re just a venue,” Maloof told Channel 2 Action News.
But because of the tie to politics, Schierbaum called the vandalism an intimidation tactic.
The same day as the vandalism, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens was scheduled to speak to the Young Democrats of Atlanta.
“It’s an important location for the politics of this city, and for someone to use spray paint to intimidate [an] elected official and those gathered there that night to talk about the future, and how that particular party can bring about best policies, is concerning,” said Schierbaum.
Protestors against the city’s plan to build a public safety training center in Dekalb County did show up to that event.
“They were marching up and down here with drums, knocking on windows, flipping birds in the windows,” one employee, Ricky White, said.
Maloof said he was afraid vandals would return, so he stayed at the restaurant overnight.
“If we’ve gotten to a point where we can’t discuss, talk and debate, then we’re in a really bad spot,” said Maloof.
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