Police: Man vandalized Black Lives Matter sign at Yakima restaurant

YAKIMA, Wash.  — Yakima restaurant owner Angie DeVora put up a sign outside Meraki Creations in March saying, “Black Lives Matter; No Cages 4 Humans.”

Since then, DeVora said she’s been called on to take it down, received multiple death threats and, just before opening on Wednesday, was verbally accosted by a man who went on to vandalize her business, located near Summitview and North 16th avenues.

“We had a gentleman come to the property and began hurling very large rocks towards our sign and building, screaming, yelling obscenities pertaining to my Black Lives Matter sign,” DeVora said.  “Yesterday’s experience is exactly why the sign will remain up.”

DeVora said the man destroyed the sign, which will now have to be replaced, and threw a rock through one of the windows before returning to the nearby 7-Eleven, where he had parked his car.

“[He] got into his vehicle and sat with a knife to his throat until the police arrived,” DeVora said.

Yakima police Capt. Shawn Boyle said officers responded to reports of a suicidal person in the area and were able to take the 25-year-old man into custody without incident.

“The man was armed with a knife; I believe that they were able to negotiate the knife away from him,” Boyle said. “He was committed into the hospital based on mental health evaluation.”

Boyle said the man will remain in the hospital for 72 hours, after which he will receive another mental health evaluation. The 25-year-old is facing a second-degree malicious mischief charge in connection with the incident.

A GoFundMe page set up to “Help Meraki Creations Recover After Racist Attack” had raised almost $400 of its $5,500 goal as of early Thursday evening. DeVora said the funds will go toward replacing the sign and purchasing added security measures for the business.

“There has been an amazing outpouring of support to me and my staff and to what we believe in, which is equality for all humans,” DeVora said. “We will continue to stand strong.”

Meraki Creations will reopen Friday at 9 a.m. for takeout only.