CLEVELAND (WJW)– Vandalism spread throughout downtown Cleveland following Saturday’s police brutality protests.
The event began peacefully at the Free Stamp at 1:30 p.m., but hours after the event ended, unrest continued . The city of Cleveland issued a curfew for Saturday and Sunday nights.
People were caught on video smashing the windows at Colossal Cupcakes on Euclid Avenue. While the staff stayed in the bathroom, people took everything from the store.
Kelly Kandah, owner of Colossal Cupcakes, said she heard protesters were coming down Euclid Avenue Saturday afternoon.
She lives nearby so she rushed to the cupcake store to close it down.
“We are the storefront of the Fifth Street Arcade so it’s all glass and windows. Seconds later, a gunshot went off and the main window went down. Protesters started pouring into the store,” said Kandah.
Kandah says she and four other employees were inside.
“I thought if they saw me there, they wouldn’t want to hurt anyone. But they started throwing bricks and paint cans and stuff at me and the staff. We hurried and rushed into the back bathroom but they kept coming through the windows,” said Kandah.
Kandah locked the door and barricaded with four other employees inside. She called 911.
“It was horrible. We were just listening to them destroy everything. I was so scared in so many ways,” said Kandah.
Ten minutes later, Kandah says she heard police come into the store so they came out of the bathroom.
The store was destroyed.
“We just got through what I imagined would be our hardest time, the COVID crisis. I never imagined we could get hit worse than ever. Everything is gone or destroyed. The chandeliers are
ripped down, the actual cupcake cases are gone. They took our princess chairs and used them to destroy other cases. There is nothing left in there, just glass,” said Kandah.
No employees were hurt. Because of the downtown curfew, Kandah has not been able to go back to get any additional belongings.
The cupcake store has sat on Euclid Avenue for a decade.
Many other businesses were broken into including the Cleveland Indians Team Shop and CVS.
Nearby Geiger’s was also looted. Video on social media showed more people damaging property at Playhouse Square.
Also on Euclid Avenue, a group took turns hitting the glass of an RTA bus stop.
Saturday night, Governor DeWine activated the Ohio National Guard to help respond to the violent incidents in Cleveland.
“At approximately 6:00 p.m., I received a call from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson expressing serious concerns about the safety of Cleveland residents and peace officers following violent demonstrations there this afternoon. As is the case in Columbus, it is believed to be a relatively small group of violent individuals who are drowning out the voices of the many citizens who are peacefully expressing their desire for justice and change. “