Tracking down vandals who attacked La Mesa village businesses

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Following a weekend of protests that led to arson fires and vandalism, business owners in La Mesa are getting community help to rebuild.

They’re also getting help to find the lawbreakers who caused the damage.  Natalie Tanji and her mother Lynda Toovey are getting lots of help in tracking down the man who hurled a baseball bat through the window of their skin care spa in la mesa village. The salon, Spa Piel was among dozens of businesses that were hit by vandals during the disturbances that rocked La Mesa on Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

Tanji has several photos, including a shot of the man in a face covering and camoflage shorts getting ready to fling the bat through her spa window.

When Tanji and her mom arrived around 1 a.m. Sunday, bystanders who had witnessed the destruction told Tanji where to find the bat wielding man on the street.

When she confronted the suspected vandal, she took a photo of him on her phone.

After posting the man’s photo to social media, other photos and videos taken by bystanders that night were sent to Tanji and her mother.

They received video of the same man getting ready to break a window at an office down the street and another video showing the man inside the same business setting a fire.

The spa owners obtained yet more video evidence of the man at a vacant storefront smashing the window with a bat.

Tanji and her mom collected all the photos and the videos and brought them to La Mesa police. “I think they have a few possible leads on his name and his city of residence and his employer. They’re just not 100% sure. So we’re hoping somebody in the community will be able to recognize him and be able to give the police a better lead so he can be charged with the crimes he committed.” Tanji said.

Tanji also said she doesn’t think the man had anything to do with the protests for racial justice.

Like other small business owners, Tanji and her mom have had a tough year, in being shut down for two months because of the coronavirus.

Now they’re facing down another scourge as a different kind of virus spreads lawlessness and disorder.

Categories: Local San Diego News