BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA) — Police are seeking public help to identify six to eight hate crime suspects accused of making pro-Armenia comments and attacking employees inside a popular Beverly Hills Turkish restaurant.
“They were saying, ‘We are here to kill Turks,’ and ‘We hate you guys, you guys must die,’ and a lot of other death threats,” an employee who did not want his name released said.
The incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday at a restaurant in the 300 block of South Beverly Drive, near Gregory Way, according to Lt. Max Subin of the Beverly Hills Police Department.
According to Subin, six to eight men between the ages of 20 and 30 entered the restaurant, made pro-Armenia statements at the employees, destroyed property inside the establishment and attacked employees both inside and in an outdoor alley.
The victims sustained minor injuries and refused medical treatment at the scene, but detectives did not provide further information about them.
Surveillance footage was being reviewed to identify the suspects, Subin said.
“The BHPD is investigating this unacceptable act of hate and violence,” said Beverly Hills Mayor Lester Friedman. “There is no place in our city for this behavior, and we ask members of the public to please come forward with any information on the suspects in this case.”
The owners of the restaurant said they were still assessing how much damage was done, but said that they would have to remain closed for at least another few days.
“We are a small business,” the employee said. “We are barely trying to keep business with the COVID, and now this is adding on top, causing more destruction.”
Anyone with information about the suspects was urged to call the Beverly Hills Police Department at 310-285-2125. Those wishing to remain anonymous can text BEVHILLSPD followed by the tip to 888777 or call 800-222- TIPS.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)