Vandals cause $100,000 in damage to Cocoa restaurant

Police search for culprits, catering van

COCOA, Fla. - In what police are labeling "a cruel attack," hoodlums broke into Black Tulip restaurant in Cocoa Village and smashed wine bottles, wrecked artwork, flooded sinks and ruined food, causing more than $100,000 in damages.

"It was complete, total destruction," said Barbara Matthews, Cocoa police spokeswoman.  "This wasn't your typical act of vandalism -- it was designed to destroy this restaurant."

The vandals struck between the restaurant, which opened on Brevard Avenue in 1981, sometime from Monday afternoon to Wednesday morning, Matthews said.

"They broke every bottle of wine. They destroyed every piece of art on the wall. They plugged up every sink and turned the water on," she said.  "They also opened the doors of every freezer and refrigerator, so all the food was destroyed."

This was very vicious, just a cruel attack. They have been amazing community partners since they opened, so this is just terrible," she said.

Detectives seek information to help identify the vandals. Matthews said police are looking for a silver catering van with the Florida license tag J72-3RV.

Anyone with information should call Cocoa police.

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