Shetice Jackson was wrapping up a Facebook post touting her gumbo at 4:30 a.m. Saturday when phone alerts jolted her. Seconds later, a call from Buffalo police informed her that her new restaurant Crazy Good Eatz, at 2285 Main St., had just been vandalized.
After learning police had detained a man in the incident, Jackson rushed to her restaurant with her husband to look at the cameras and speak with law enforcement. She found five of her large exterior windows either damaged or shattered, with two concrete bricks on the floor, surrounded by shards of glass and knocked-over chairs.
Nothing was taken and there were no injuries, but Jackson was concerned about the vandal's motives and said her team was "really shaken up" after hearing the news.
"I didn't want it to be anything malicious toward me," Jackson said. "I was scared."
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Jackson said police told her they believed the man detained was suffering from mental illness. She said police did not believe the vandal entered the restaurant and that the attack was a "random act." Buffalo police could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday afternoon.
With shattered glass sitting feet away, Jackson finished a catering order of 60 soups for the Buffalo Urban League, then went home. "I had to just leave," she said.
She then informed her social media followers around noon that the restaurant would be temporarily closed, shared a video of the vandalism's aftermath and encouraged her followers to pray for the man allegedly suffering from mental illness. Responses flooded in, with some inquiring whether Jackson was OK.
Jackson, who opened fast-casual Crazy Good Eatz in September after running CakeCrazy Bakery in Cheektowaga for eight years, shared an anecdote involving a police officer following the arrest. "He asked, 'Do you need anything else? I don't want to leave him in cuffs for too long.' " Jackson said that made her cry. "I wanted to hug him," Jackson said about the unnamed officer's empathy.
While admitting she was still in shock over the vandalism, Jackson said she appreciated the throngs of customers and friends who came to her aid. "I love my city because my city loves me," she said.
Ben Tsujimoto can be reached at email@example.com, at (716) 849-6927 or on Twitter at @Tsuj10.