PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Vandals have once against targeted a local business.
Food was being served to customers along Brookline Boulevard on Thursday, just like any other day.
But in the back of everyone’s mind is a mural that was vandalized sometime overnight Wednesday into Thursday. The mural read “Welcome to Brookline” in Spanish. However, someone painted on top of it with the words, “Illegal Trespassers,” “Liars” and “America Haters.”
“It’s just inappropriate,” said Richard Wynn, of Brookline. “They’re here paying taxes and trying to make money like the rest of us. It’s just ignorant people.”
The mural is painted on the garage at the back of the store. It was painted by Brashear High School students in December after the store was vandalized for the first time.
In that incident, someone spray-painted “Go back to Mexico.” In January, a rock was thrown through a window at the Las Palmas restaurant location in Beechview.
“I think that the level of discourse that we are having on a national level about immigration and diversity I think is poisoning what’s happening in our communities,” City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, who represents District 4, said.
Rudiak says Pittsburgh Police are investigating this incident as well as the two others. They still don’t know who’s responsible.
“Here you have family of Mexican descent, Latino, and have chosen to put their business here. Chosen to raise their family here, are employing people. Serving the people,” Rudiak said.
“I don’t know what to say. It’s like people who hate us. Like racist people,” Jorge, the manager at Las Palmas Mexican Grocery, said. “We don’t know what to do. That’s all I can say.”
Employees noticed the vandalism when they got to work Thursday morning.
“Hopefully, they catch the person and make them scrub it with a toothbrush,” a Las Palmas customer said.
Rudiak did say the family that owns Las Palmas is here legally. She’s working with various Latino community organizations to figure out what to do next.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto also said in a statement:
“Pittsburgh is a city built on immigrants who saw the opportunity to build businesses here, make a stake in their neighborhoods, and raise their families here. These incidents do not represent how our city truly is, and I urge anyone who may have witnessed anything related to this crime to report it to police. It takes all of us together to show we are a welcoming city, and I call on all of Pittsburgh to show these acts will not be tolerated, and to continue to support Las Palmas by shopping there.”
If you have any information about who did this, you’re being asked to call Pittsburgh Police.