Protests on Sunday lead to vandalism

Protests lead to vandalism

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) -Damage from Sunday night's protest in Wilmington reached beyond downtown to Castle Street.

Jess James + Co Vintage, Elsewhere Salon, and Antiques Emporium had windows broken, but nothing was stolen from any of the stores.

Elsewhere Salon co-owner, Emily Martian, said that she was worried about her business while watching coverage of Sunday night’s protests across the country.

“I was trying not to stress and not freak out,” said Martian. “I was thinking this will never happen to me and then the phone rang, and my heart sank. How bad is it? What do you do when you’re a small business owner? We are a hair salon, so everyone knows we’ve been out of work for two months because of COVID-19, so if anytime something hit us hard, it’s now."

Martian’s business partner, Paula Lemme, doesn’t think the three stores were targeted, but believes the situation could have been handled better.

”I’m disappointed nobody had the forethought to think to send the abusers in to handle the people that are being abused would be a good idea,” said Lemme.

“It’s amazing what a little bit can do,” said Martian holding the bricks that broke her windows. “How bad three rocks can affect somebody’s life and can take from people...we are going in waves of emotion. One minute we’re fine, we got this. The other minute we’re saying, ‘this is really hard.’”

Jess James’ store also suffered damage in the Sunday night incident, but she found something positive to talk about on the day after.

“The one thing I will say that came out of the whole situation, that was really reassuring, is that we had so much help,” said James owner of Jess James + Co Vintage. “People that happened to be driving by, people who had heard of it on Facebook and came down in the middle of the night...were out here until two in the morning helping us board up.”

Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.