Police in Santa Fe, New Mexico, are investigating an act of vandalism at a local restaurant as a hate crime.
The restaurant India Palace was defaced with graffiti that included racist slurs and expletives, according to a Santa Fe Police Department report.
Baljot John Singh, the general manager and restaurant owner’s son, went to open the restaurant on Monday when he saw that it was vandalized, the report said. Plates, glasses, and other property was damaged or thrown about the establishment.
Words like “white power”, “f*** BLM”, “stupid,” and “leave” were spray-painted throughout the room, according to the police report. One of the dining tables had “go back” written on it, and others were painted with silhouettes of male genitalia. Officers also observed the words “sand n*****” painted on a door, and “die” painted on a kitchen appliance.
“This case has been classified as a hate crime, and the Santa Fe police department is aggressively pursuing those responsible for this disgusting display of hatred and intolerance,” police said in a news release on Tuesday.
Police said they believe the crime occurred sometime on Sunday evening, and estimate the damage to be over $100,000, including $500 stolen from a cash register.
The family said they have never experienced this kind of racism before.
“I was at a loss for words … I just felt disgusted,” Singh told “CNN Tonight” on Tuesday. “It’s just wrong.”
“It was heartbreaking to see something that they had built for eight years…almost torn down and gone,” Cameron Brown, a close family friend and restaurant employee, told “CNN Tonight.” “I just want whoever did this caught.”
Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber weighed in on Twitter, calling the vandalism “sickening and appalling.”
“We need to stand up as a community and denounce this despicable act,” Webber tweeted. “We will find whoever did it and punish them to the full extent of the law. We absolutely reject racism, intolerance, and hate.”
The restaurant owners said they are not sure what sparked the vandalism, but they are hoping police will get to the bottom of it.
CNN’s Alexandra Meeks contributed to this report.