Group of men enter Turkish restaurant shouting pro-Armenian statements and attack the staff
By Sam Catanzaro
Police have arrested a suspect tied to a hate crime near Century City in Beverly Hills in which a group of men entered a Turkish restaurant and shouted pro-Armenian statements while destroying property and attacking the staff.
According to the Beverly Hills Police Department (CCPD), a joint investigation with The Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Los Angeles County Probation Department, resulted in the arrest of one of the primary suspects responsible for a hate crime in the City of Beverly Hills on November 4.
According to police, on November 4 at approximately 8:30 p.m., a group of 6-8 males, ranging in age from 20-30, entered Café Istanbul restaurant located at 326 Beverly Drive and made pro-Armenia statements to the employees.
“The suspects destroyed property inside of the restaurant while making pro-Armenia comments. The suspects physically attacked the employees inside the restaurant and later in the alley outside of the restaurant,” Beverly Hills police said.
The victims did sustain minor injuries and refused medical treatment at the scene, according to police.
On Thursday, the restaurant announced on Facebook that “We are excited to announce that we are back in business and everyone is welcome to join us!”
A suspect, William Stepanyan, 22, was arrested Thursday morning in the City of Glendale for PC 422.5 – Hate Crime; PC 211- Robbery; PC 459 – Burglary; PC 594 (b) – Vandalism.
A probation violation hold has been issued for Stepanyan. He is currently being held without bail at the Beverly Hills Police Department. His next court date is November 16, 2020, in Department 31 at the Airport Courthouse.
Police say if you have information about the outstanding suspects, you are encouraged to call the Beverly Hills Police Department at (310) 285-2125. If you would like to remain anonymous, text BEVHILLSPD followed by the tip information to 888777.
The incident is likely spurred by the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Turkish government supports Azerbaijan in the conflict over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is Azerbaijani territory but largely inhabited by Armenians. On Tuesday, a ceasefire was brokered between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In Los Angeles– home to one of the largest Armenian diasporas in the world–protests and demonstrated have been occurring frequently over this conflict.