Graffiti vandals laugh at Lower East Side café owner as he confronts them in the act | VIDEO

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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Vandals laugh at café owner as he confronts them over graffiti
Kemberly Richardson has more from the East Village.

LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Two men mocked a café owner on the Lower East Side after he caught them vandalizing his expensive dining shed.

Kaiser Richter, the owner of Flowers Café on Essex Street, recorded the confrontation as the vandals finished their graffiti on the outdoor dining shed.

It happened June 9 and video shows the men tagging his seating area with a black marker.

"It made me mad because I've rebuilt this patio so many times, I think almost four times, to keep with the new guidelines with the DOT," Richter said.

The owner told the pair he paid $16,000 for the shed and he could get fined for the graffiti.

Instead of apologizing, the two vandals smiled and then told the owner "nobody's here" and that the shed looked terrible.

Richter said he was going to give the video to police, but they were unfazed and threatened to tag the place until August.

After posting the video, copycat vandals flocked to the Lower East Side and left graffiti. One person even sent Richter a message and said he was coming to drop more tags.

Richter said he spoke by phone with one of the suspects from the initial incident who was wearing the white t-shift.

"He goes, like 'hey, sorry about what happened, I had some beer,'" Richter said.

On the flip side, many strangers have reached out to offer support and have even volunteered to help him repaint the shed.

"What I love about New York is when one person hurts you, there are 100,000 people who take care of you," Richter said.

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