‘Please don’t destroy our restaurant’: Minority business owner pleads with rioters

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DENVER (KDVR) — Dozens of businesses in Denver are picking up the pieces after rioters tagged and vandalized their restaurants over the weekend.

Protesters lined the streets in front of Saki Melius’ restaurant, Menya Ramen & Poke.

“I respect and support the peaceful protest,” said Melius, saying she shares in their outrage over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

But when nightfall covered the city of Denver, the protests turned violent.

“Today I’m alone because my employees are afraid to come in,” Melius said.

Agitators shattered her windows and set her dumpster on fire. She was forced to close her restaurant for two months due to coronavirus, and now this damage is another setback.

Melius lined her windows with messages pleading for her restaurant to be left alone. The messages read: “Please don’t destroy our restaurant” and “Minority owned business.”

“Being a minority, we are working so hard. We want to make it through this and after the COVID. So yesterday morning, I was hoping to just clean up and open, but I couldn’t because I was so sad. I just couldn’t stop crying,” she said.

Referring to the vandalism, she said: “We don’t need that. We’re here to survive together.”

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