La Mesa businesses still struggling to recover following riots, looting

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Several people have been arrested tonight in connection with violent riots taking place over a week ago in La Mesa.

Looters are accused of stealing goods and damaging stores like, Play it Again Sports which was one of the hardest hit businesses.

The owner, Dan Buxtun said he hopes to reopen in the next couple of weeks but still has a long way to go before he’s ready.

“We try to keep a positive attitude and our heads up, we have a lot of support from this community,” Buxtun said. “It was devastating, it really was because this business wasn’t even one year old, I moved my entire family here and poured my life savings into opening it.”

Buxtun remembers getting the phone call when things turned violent but said by the time he got to his store it was too late.

“I got over here as quick as I could, there was already smoke pouring out of the windows, the sprinklers were on and there was just chaos in the parking lot,” Buxtun said. “All the windows were broken out and a ton of inventory was damaged or stolen.”

In the midst of so much sadness, there was hope as the community came together. Buxtun said the next morning thousands came to help affected businesses recover.

Since then he has been given donations of bikes, equipment and even services by other local small businesses.

“La Mesa glass you see over there, on their time on their dime doing our windows as well as everyone else in the center,” Buxtun said.

There are several ways to help give back to businesses affected like Play it Again Sports.

Follow their updates on Facebook here:

Donate to the La Mesa disaster recovery fund: La Mesa Business Disaster Recovery organized by Phil Ortiz

Categories: Local San Diego News