Store owner says he's a victim of graffiti hate crime

Graffiti has owner scared

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:24:06 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 20 2013 09:16:48 AM CST

An incident of graffiti has one owner of a local convenience store scared.

Amin Makhani, owner of Asian Groceries, located off of Starcrest and 410, said he drove into work on Saturday morning to find an explicit message painted on the side of his store.

Makhani said he believes this particular message is a hate crime.

"I took it serious because it's a hate crime," said Makhani. "This is very bad for this neighborhood."

And although Makhani said he is Indian and the message left on the wall was directed toward a person of Arabic descent, he said he still felt that the graffiti was directed at him.

Makhani believes that the men responsible for the graffiti are they same two men that were in his store Friday night trying to steal some items.

He caught them and told them to leave and they made inappropriate comments as they left.

At the time, he said he did not think much of it.

However, he said after finding the graffiti on Saturday, he now feels threatened.

"Before, if it was a small crime, a break-in, a robbery, I wasn't scared," he said. "But, for this crime yes, I got scared."

Makhani, who has owned the store located off of Starcrest for 23 years, immediately had his employees paint over the hate graffiti, but not before some of his customers caught a glimpse of it.

"It's bad," said Diana Wilkerson, a local customer. "It's wrong. They are just trying to make a living like the rest of us. I like their store. They are very nice. I just think it's bad. I hate things like that. It's not right.."

The San Antonio Police Department is investigating the case. If you have any information you are asked to call Crimestoppers at 224-STOP.