BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA) — A man was arrested Thursday in connection with a hate crime at a Beverly Hills restaurant in which several suspects assaulted employees and damaged the business.
The incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 4 at the Cafe Istanbul located in the 300 block of South Beverly Drive, near Gregory Way, according to Lt. Max Subin of the Beverly Hills Police Department.
William Stepanyan, 22, of Glendale, was arrested in Glendale and booked on suspicion of committing a hate crime, robbery and burglary, police said. He was in custody on a probation hold without bail, and scheduled to appear in court on Monday in the Airport Courthouse.
“A joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Los Angeles County Probation Department resulted in the arrest of one of the primary suspects responsible for (the) hate crime,” Beverly Hills police said in a statement.
“The suspects destroyed property and physically attacked the employees inside the restaurant and later in the alley outside of the restaurant,” police said. “The victims stated that the suspects made derogatory comments during the incident.
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.)