LANCASTER, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The front door to a Lancaster family restaurant is covered with wood now after vandals smashed the glass, and it’s just a fraction of the damage the suspects left behind.
“I had hundreds of thousands of dollars in the business and the building, and I feel like I lost everything… sad, very sad,” Marcelo Castillo said.
For two years, Castillo has owned “Marcelo’s,” a Dominican restaurant at 2151 W. Meeting St. Despite community support, he sometimes receives hateful gestures.
And Thursday night — was the biggest one so far.
“On the way to the restaurant early in the morning, I was just driving, and I saw something different. I noticed something different in the parking lot, on the back (inaudible) of the restaurant, so I said, “Oh wow, that’s not looking good so…,” he said.
He saw how the vandals got in — by breaking the back door.
“The electricity panels were off, and the walk-in cool compressor was off. When I went around and come through the front doors, the front glass was all messed up and destroyed,” he said.
The suspects tore TVs off the wall, destroyed his kitchen, and turned the deep fryer up to the highest setting, which could’ve caused a fire. The police report listed almost $11,000 in damages and undisclosed cash register money.
“All this disconnected, I found many things that aren’t supposed to be in the kitchen, in the kitchen everywhere… it’s completely damaged,” he said.
Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office incident report says, “several frozen items had been taken out of the freezer and thrown on the ground. Officials estimate nearly $11,000 in damages — but Marcelo says it is way more than that.
“This is a business that I’ve built with my own hands,” Castillo said. “They put me out of business. Whoever did it, they put me out of business.”
Although Marcelo’s is temporarily closed, he says it won’t be for long. He won’t let the suspects win.. he says God bless whoever did it.
Authorities say they have footprints and fingerprints. But the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office asks anyone with information to call Deputy Simmons at 803-283-3388.