Vandal rampage targets shops on Notre Dame in St. Henri
Published Sunday, May 24, 2015 12:16PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, May 24, 2015 7:01PM EDT
Police are investigating after at least eight stores in St-Henri were vandalized at 11:30 p.m Saturday night as a group of masked individuals wearing hoods went on a violent destructive rampage on Notre Dame St. W. near Delinelle St. in the Southwest borough.
The masked vandals came equipped to smash windows. "There were about 10 guys all dressed in black and they came with pool balls and crow bars and broke the windows and 30 minutes later everything was broken everywhere," said Vincent Powell.
Several witnesses called 9-1-1, but when the suspects fled the scene before police arrived.
The Saturday night attacks came one night after an opening night party for a juice bar was targeted by what appeared to be the same attackers. Entrepreneur Corey Shapiro said that smoke bombs were tossed into his newly-opened juice bar Friday. When he went out to look at what was going on, he was hit in the face by pepper spray.
“I ran outside to see what the story was and I got pepper sprayed by people dressed all in black with masks, who had made a strategic attack on a crowd of a couple of hundred people,” he said. “This was an attack potentially endangering people’s lives.”
Jesse Bowden, who is a co-owner of the Campanelli boutique, was on hand Sunday evaluating the damage. He told CTV Montreal that there has been a history of such attacks on the strip.
"They came through about eight months ago spray painting the whole front of the storeface and a group then put out a manifesto on a website saying it was a politically motivated attack to stop the gentrification of this neighbourhood. These are people who are unhappy with the neighbourhood has changed, but the people that are changing it are all from this neighbourhood," he said.
Bowden said that he lives nearby and has several businesses. "I don't think anybody has ever come through and talked to us to understand what we're trying to bring."