Suspect charged with hate crime in vandalism of Indian restaurant

Thuran Johnson (MDC)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque police have arrested a man for allegedly vandalizing an Indian restaurant over the holidays by breaking the windows with rocks and bottles, and leaving notes with racial slurs.

Thuran Johnson, 47, is charged with criminal damage to property over $1,000 with a hate crime enhancement in at least two separate incidents at the Taste of India restaurant over Christmas.

Johnson is also charged with attacking a health care worker on Monday during an intake for a mental health evaluation at the University of New Mexico Hospital.

Johnson has since been booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center. It is unclear if he has an attorney.

Prosecutors have filed a motion to detain Johnson until trial, citing his “irrational and dangerous behavior,” along with his “determination to act violently” toward people he believes are of Indian descent.

“He has physically attacked a person due to his being Indian and has made many derogatory statements about Indians during other contacts with police,” the motion states.

In June, Johnson was charged with battery after allegedly asking a man what race he was, and punching and kicking the man when he didn’t answer.

The man he attacked is the one who came forward and helped police identify Johnson as a suspect in the restaurant vandalism after the story aired on local TV news.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court:

On Dec. 23, a detective was tasked with investigating ongoing vandalism at the Taste of India, near Juan Tabo and Indian School NE. In one incident, on Nov. 10, a person threw rocks through the window with notes that said “slumdog millionaires garbage” and “no shoes.”

The owners installed cameras and, on Dec. 11, captured a person in a BMW throw glass bottles through the windows as people ate inside. Then, on Christmas Day, a person in a BMW threw bottles through the window before throwing two large trash bags inside the restaurant.

The man who Johnson allegedly attacked in June came forward after seeing the vandalism covered on local news. The detective matched photos of Johnson and a description of his vehicle to the security camera footage.

Although there is no physical evidence to tie Johnson to the first two incidents, the detective believed “it is likely” he committed those, as well.

During his arrest, police say Johnson was suffering from a “mental health crisis.”

He told police that Indians had “stolen from Blacks” in his hometown of Chicago and the Taste of India restaurant stole the property from “Taste of Italy.”

Johnson then said Indians had broken his windows and thrown trash at his car, so he “retaliated.”

Share Your Story

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango


taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Caja del Rio energizes us culturally and environmentally
ABQnews Seeker
Humility, responsibility and selflessness. Religious or ... Humility, responsibility and selflessness. Religious or not, one can easily recognize the importance ...
2
TOP OF MIND: Should Bernalillo County and the city ...
ABQnews Seeker
This week's question: Since the president ... This week's question: Since the president has mandated vaccines for federal workers, contractors, military and private businesses of 100 or more, should Bernalillo County ...
3
Recall effort against Cowboys for Trump founder falls behind
ABQnews Seeker
Organizers say they are about 400 ... Organizers say they are about 400 signatures short of the 1,574 needed
4
Hot commodity: Hatch vaulted New Mexico chile to the ...
ABQnews Seeker
T he sound echoes like drums ... T he sound echoes like drums across the field, as green chile peppers – thick, ripe and heav ...
5
Roommate arrested after ABQ woman is set on fire
ABQnews Seeker
Victim was doused with gasoline, is ... Victim was doused with gasoline, is flown to burn center in Lubbock
6
APD: Drugs could be linked to fatal crash
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque police say narcotics appear to ... Albuquerque police say narcotics appear to be a factor in a Friday night crash on East ...
7
Face to Face with JoAnn Mitchell: MAS Charter School ...
ABQnews Seeker
Structure, hard work keys to success ... Structure, hard work keys to success with kids born into poverty
8
Chimayó chile a symbol of the Southwest
ABQnews Seeker
Along the rugged foothills of the ... Along the rugged foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains is a crescent-shaped valley, carved wit ...
9
In a tough season, manager Schaeffer has steadied the ...
ABQnews Seeker
Luis Barrera legged out an infield ... Luis Barrera legged out an infield single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Aug. 23 in Las Vegas, Nevada. ...