With friends like these . . .
Customers leave local bar to find cars vandalized
By ERIK SANDIN – Stillwater Gazette
A group’s late-night visit to a local bar over the weekend that started out uneventful ended with two vandalized vehicles and police officers seaching for suspects in the incident.
Stillwater Police officers were called to the Harbor Bar in the 800 block of Laurel Street early Sunday morning after Glanel R. Houenouvi and five other persons in his party left the bar about wSunday and discovered their two vehicles had been vandalized.
Houenouvi told officers that his group had attended a wedding and stopped at the Harbor Bar about 11 p.m. Sunday, according to the SPD report. When Houenouvi’s party left the bar about one hour later, they discovered the damage to their vehicles, the report adds.
Houenouvi told officers someone apparently painted the exterior of the vehicles yellow and allegedly used a key to put long deep scratches on the vehicles, the report said.
Vandals also used a sharp object to stab the vehicles interior seats and cut the seatbelts and one vehicle had yellow paint on the dashboard and passenger seat, the report notes.
The report notes that Houenouvi and his party were all African American and were at a bar predominantly occupied by white customers.
"It should be noted that biker gang members are know to frequent this establishment regularly," the police report adds.
The report said Houenouvi told officers at the scene that he and his party did not have problems with anyone at the Harbor Bar during their visit, adding that he "thought everyone was kind to him and did not suspect that the damage was racially motivated."
"I asked (Houenouvi) if he suspected the damage to be done by someone inside the bar," the investigating officer writes in his report. "He responded that he did not know. I also asked the parties if they observed anyone outside of the vehicles when they parked. They all responded that they did not notice anyone in particular.
"(Houenouvi) stated that he did not have any issues with anyone in particular and did not know who may have done this," the report adds.
Officers also noted that the Harbor Bar does not have video surveillance of its parking lot.
The report said Houenouvi estimates the damage to his two cars is about $15,000 to $20,000 each. Officers took photos of the damage to the two vehicles. The case is under investigation.