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Kelowna restaurant vandalized after 4 customers denied entry

According to the restaurant owner, the three underage customers were allegedly drunk and tried using the same vaccine card to enter the premises. Submitted

A restaurant in Kelowna was tagged with graffiti after four young males were denied entry on Thursday night.

Prior to the vandalism, though, the group tried entering the restaurant by using vaccine cards that all had the same QR code.

Wings Tap and Grill owner Brent Stewart said the group admitted to being impaired, and that they claimed they didn’t need to show ID because they were under 19.

After being refused entry, things escalated.

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“You’ve said you’re drunk and you’re not old enough to show ID, so there’s a problem,” Stewart told Global News.

“That was the reason we asked them to leave.”

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Stewart said “then it became a big scene, yelling and screaming and swearing and threatening. It turned into quite a bad scene.”

In an earlier email to Global News, Stewart said “vaccine card or not, (my restaurant manager) wasn’t going to let drunk underaged kids in.

“So they proceeded to yell and threaten to shank her and a few staff and customers who chased them out.”

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Though he wasn’t present at the time, Stewart was on scene later that night after the restaurant’s windows were tagged with spray paint.

He cleaned the graffiti and also contacted police.

Kelowna RCMP say they were alerted to the first incident — “a group of four individuals who were causing a disturbance and refused service” — which happened around 7 p.m.

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“Approximately 1.5 hours later, the group returned and allegedly spray-painted the windows of the restaurant, fleeing on foot at which time the police were called,” Kelowna RCMP said in an email to Global News.

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RCMP say officers conducted patrols for the suspects, but they were not located.

Police said the investigation is ongoing, and that anyone with information is asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300.

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Asked what the restaurant’s experience has been under COVID-19 protocols, Stewart said it’s been an interesting time.

“We’ve had all kinds of restrictions and problems and different rules we have to enforce,” he said. “And then people don’t understand the rules and they blame us. But this vaccine passport incident, and since that regulation has come in, we’ve found people (are) much more aggressive and harder to deal with.

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“If they’re against it, they’re definitely against it. So, even after everything we’ve been through, and we thought we were through the worst, people are just tired of it.”

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Steward said with restaurants employing mostly young people, having aggressive male customers “is not a good mix for anybody.”

“We’ve been through enough. We need some compassion. People need to be respectful,” he said.

“Now our mandate is that we have anybody who’s aggressive or challenging, then we’re going to straight-up call the police. I’m not going to put any of my staff in jeopardy.”

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