San Francisco restaurant says it was vandalized twice in one week over support of police

The general manager at a San Francisco restaurant said the business has been vandalized twice this week.

He suspects that it has to do with the restaurant's support of police.

Ristobar, an Italian restaurant has been on Chestnut Street in the Marina District since 2010.

Mattia Ballarini, the general manager, said nothing like this has happened before.

Christmas Eve is a good night for business.

But the general manager said there have been two incidents of vandalism this week.

Ballarini said the damage includes broken tables and chairs that were out in the parklet and a torn awning and broken plastic panels that keep out the wind. He said the first incident took place early Monday morning.

He pointed to a door that was pushed in so hard that it came off the hinges.

And a banner thanking police was on the ground. Ballarini said after the first incident, a young woman about 25 years old, dressed all in black with her face covered, walked into the restaurant and made a threat.

"You better remove the banner because whatever happened last night to you is just the beginning.  Remove the banner and you're going to be fine. And I said no. I'm not going to remove the banner. I'm not scared of anybody. I do that because I'm proud of that," said Ballarini.

After that, the general manager said a second incident happened Tuesday night.

"They tried to remove this banner all the time. I found it on the street three or four times," Ballarini said.

He also showed a photo of the police officers who attended a free holiday party the restaurant hosted for the community Sunday night to thank everyone for their support.

He suspects the police presence at the party has something to do with the vandalism.

"It's a family-owned business they're so lovely, trying to help people on the holiday season and it's just not ok to threaten them," said customer Scott Dobroski.

Another customer who wished to remain anonymous said, "The fact that anybody would vandalize a business that is probably struggling anyway given the pandemic, is just totally unacceptable."

Ballarini has filed a police report and wants whoever's responsible to show remorse.

"I want an apology and to see them in person and say we didn't like what you did. Tell me why," he said. 

The general manager said there's no surveillance video because the cameras were disconnected due to renovation work being done. But he refuses to be intimidated.

He has no plans to take down the banner supporting police.