OAKLAND (FOX) — Abdul Saleh has just one question for the men — suspected by authorities to be Black Muslims — who trashed his corner store late Wednesday, terrorizing his 17-year-old son and another clerk and causing thousands of dollars in damage.
“I don’t know why they tried to destroy my life,” said Saleh, who has owned San Pablo Market and Liquor in West Oakland since 1986. “We came here for a better living, not to make war with anybody.”
About a dozen African-American men wearing suits, white-collared shirts and bow ties — a trademark of the Nation of Islam — entered the store on San Pablo Avenue and West Street about 11:30 p.m.
One went behind the counter and swept dozens of shelved liquor bottles to the floor. Others smashed glass refrigerator doors with long, slim metal pipes, breaking beer and wine bottles inside the cases. The whole incident from start to finish was caught on surveillance tape.
The men warned the store clerks to stop selling alcohol to African Americans, but they also knocked over display racks containing bread and other food items. Then, almost as quickly as they arrived, they all filed out and headed to another West Oakland liquor store, New York Market at Market and 35th streets, where they did the same thing.