Vietnamese-Thai Restaurant Vandalized and Damaged

Restaurant in Riverside, Ohio Damaged With Racist Intent


Leo Nicholson, Editor-in-Chief

Riverside restaurant Xuan Vietnamese-Thai Cuisine at 4770 Airway Road was vandalized with racist graffiti regarding the Coronavirus sometime between the night of Monday, December 25, and the morning of Tuesday, December 26, according to Dayton Daily News

Police responded on Tuesday to International Foods and Xuan Vietnamese- Thai Cuisine Restaurant on a report of damage done to the business and a strong smell of gasoline, according to WHIO. Police reported that a maintenance person discovered a fire in the range hood of the restaurant that damaged the hood.

The police report says the owner of International Foods, Ban Van Mai, showed police video of two men climbing a ladder on the side of the building at around 2 a.m. to get closer to a security camera and cover it with black spray paint (Dayton Daily News).

It is unknown if police have identified a suspect in the case.

This damage is being called a hate crime by the Riverside Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce posted about the incident on Thursday, December 28, saying the business was “targeted by a racial hate criminal act blaming them for the virus.”

His daughter, Thu Mai, said her family was targeted because they are Asian-American, according to Dayton Daily News. She said her family has complete faith in the police to do their jobs and that the people who vandalized the building would be brought to justice. She called the incident “domestic terrorism,” because the people who committed the crime were trying to cause bodily harm. She said her family had been in that location for at least 25 years and felt they were part of the community. “What they’re doing is complete cowardice,” she said of the people who vandalized her family’s store. “Their intention is trying to scare us and that’s not happening.”

Noppadol Mangmeesub, the owner of the Thai restaurant next door with his wife, Kanokwan Mangmeesub, told Dayton Daily News he no longer feels safe in the restaurant. “Even though I’m in fear, I have to be here, to try to make it work at some point,” Mangmeesub said. “Even now, I don’t want to walk into the back of the restaurant.” 

He and his wife are Thai immigrants, and he said he has no association with China. He said he didn’t know if the business was targeted because they are immigrants (Dayton Daily News). “I have lived in this country for 5 years so I don’t bring the virus, I don’t know anything about it, I actually have never been to China, so it’s definitely not fair. I love all kind of people,” said Mangmeesup.

“Mangmeesub said he worries about the cost of fixing the hood, especially since business has gone down since the start of the pandemic,” reported Dayton Daily News.

“Since the COVID we don’t make any money at all,” he said. “I try to pay the rent, pay all expenses, I just try not to owe anybody money.” He said he didn’t want to buy a gun for the shop either. “I’m not trying to buy a gun to kill someone over my little soup business because I don’t think it’s worth it,” he said.

He also said he and his wife are the only two employees. “People spread the news about us, people came to support us, and I really appreciate it, but right now we can’t handle a lot of customers,” he said.

Dayton Daily News reported that Mangmeesub was considering moving locations because he worries about the vandals coming back but he signed a two-year lease. He said he planned to reach out to the Riverside city council.

“I’m fearful for my life and my wife that maybe something is going to happen again because I don’t know how many of them they have,” Mangmeesub said. “Are they going to come back again, are they going to beat me when I take the trash out in the night? I don’t know.

Riverside police ask anyone who knows information about this crime to call their department at 937-233-1801.