El Zarape Restaurant in East Hollywood Vandalized, Gang-Related Incident Suspected

El Zarape, a popular Mexican restaurant located in East Hollywood, fell victim to a destructive act of vandalism on Monday morning. The incident, which caused an estimated $80,000 worth of damage, has been linked to the notorious C-14 gang, also known as Clanton. The Los Angeles Police Department is currently investigating the matter.

The owner of El Zarape, Beto Mendez, received a distressing call from one of his employees who discovered the devastation upon arriving at the restaurant. Mendez, initially assuming it was mere graffiti, was shocked to find the establishment completely destroyed. Tables were overturned, chairs were scattered, and the walls were covered in spray paint. One of the bar areas had been severely damaged with a hammer, and all the televisions were defaced with graffiti. Additionally, a safe containing $20,000 was stolen.

Surveillance footage captured a man wearing a light-colored hoodie, dark pants, and Nikes shaking a can of spray paint inside the bar before proceeding to vandalize the premises. Although no other individuals were visible in the video, Mendez believes that multiple vandals were involved due to the extensive damage inflicted. The walls were tagged with the distinctive “C14” graffiti, which the police have linked to the C-14 gang.

C-14, a gang with a century-long history in Los Angeles, originated on Clanton Street, later renamed 14th Place. Their presence is evident throughout the neighborhood, with numerous tags along Melrose Avenue. Even Trinity Episcopal Church, a local house of worship, fell victim to their graffiti.

The area surrounding El Zarape is known to be a hub for various gangs, including MS-13 and other local cliques. The destruction of the restaurant is considered a serious matter, as it poses a threat to the safety and well-being of the community.

For Mendez, the timing of this incident could not be worse. Just two weeks ago, he tragically lost his ex-wife, leaving him with full custody of their two teenage daughters. He has chosen to shield them from the news of the restaurant’s destruction, shouldering the burden alone.

In an effort to rebuild and repair the damage, Mendez has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the restaurant’s reopening. El Zarape, which has enjoyed relative peace in its seven years of operation, previously experienced an incident after the Super Bowl on February 11. On that day, a man fired a gun into the air near the restaurant and subsequently barricaded himself inside, leading to a police SWAT team intervention.

Author: CrimeDoor

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