Pride flags torn down, set on fire outside Seattle cantina

SEATTLE — Pride flags outside downtown Seattle’s Taqueria Cantina restaurant were torn down and then set on fire during a large-scale vandalism incident.

The crime happened during sunrise on Wednesday, June 15.

“(The suspect) could’ve just pulled the (Pride) flags, but the fact that they burned them - to me that says a lot,” said Taqueria Cantina owner Saul Munoz.

Pretty much nothing went untouched.

The restaurant’s patio furniture was overturned and deliberately broken, while the patio’s front gates were ripped away and tossed down a nearby stairwell.

“That takes a lot of strength, a lot of energy, to rip off something that’s metal,” noted Taqueria Cantina co-owner Daniel Ceballos.

Given the fact that no other restaurants and nearby businesses were hit, Taqueria Cantina’s owners say they truly worry that they’re the victims of hate and homophobia.

“It’s really, really sad to experience this. It really breaks my heart,” said Ceballos.

The vandalism occurred as Taqueria Cantina was finally entering its prime.

It opened during the pandemic, and its owners say business started slow.

Recently, sales had started to improve, yet, a week away from the restaurant’s first-ever pride celebration, even the restaurant’s sign is in tatters.

“To me, it’s really disheartening because we try to be a house for the LGBTQ+ community,” Munoz told KIRO 7.

As police try to identify the man that caused so much damage, Taqueria Cantina’s owners say they’re persistent and perhaps more prideful than ever.

“If you dislike our community, that’s not gonna stop us. If anything, (we’ll) go stronger,” insisted Munoz.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Seattle Police Department.

Taqueria Cantina’s owners have set up a GoFundMe page to cover the costs of damages. They told KIRO 7 any additional money will be donated to help LGBTQ+ charities.