WYCKOFF, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- The owners of a Chinese restaurant in New Jersey found racist COVID-19-related graffiti spray-painted on its facade and sidewalk on Wednesday.
A vandal or vandals spray-painted “Coronavirus” and “COVID-19” on the windows and front door of New Gourmet Garden in Wyckoff overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, NorthJersey.com reported.
“Go home to China” and "Coronavirus" were spray-painted on the sidewalk in front of the eatery, photos show.
A 911 caller reported the racist graffiti to Wyckoff police early Wednesday morning, the outlet reported. The department is investigating the incident as a bias crime.
“I feel so sad,” the restaurant’s owner said Wednesday morning, according to the outlet.
Workers from AOA Cleaning Restoration helped wash away the graffiti free of charge, the outlet reported.
Employees at a cigar shop across the street from the restaurant, meanwhile, bought the owners flowers with a note that read “We support you.”
Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday took to Twitter to denounce the vandalism.
“I’m appalled by the hateful and racist graffiti left on a Chinese restaurant in Wyckoff,” he wrote. “Coronavirus is not an excuse for racism.”
“We stand in full solidarity with our Chinese American community,” he added.