Darn Donuts owners claim months of harassment, vandalism from teens at Bay Ridge shop

July 1, 2019 Jaime DeJesus
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A Bay Ridge donut shop wants the harassment to stop.

The family behind the mom-and-pop-shop Darn Donuts at Fourth Avenue and 87th Street says the establishment has been targeted by a group of several teens numerous times, disturbing business and costing hundreds of dollars in damage.

According to a police spokesperson, a single report is on file for the eatery, for a June 20 incident in which several young teens threw smoke bombs and snappers inside the shop around 7:35 p.m. No injuries were reported.

The shop owner’s daughter Rana Ismail says the problem has persisted for over two months and they want the suspects caught.

“It started with them stealing donuts from the display table,” she told this paper. “They didn’t get much of a reaction from my mom. Then they started kicking over the table. No harm done. They kicked it over again, it broke and we had to get it replaced.”

Ismail says the destruction got worse from there.

“They took the table and they broke our glass with it and they pushed the door so hard that they broke the ice cream fridge,” she said. “This was happening every few weeks. Whenever I’m here, I chase them. I try to talk sense into them but it’s to no avail. They kept tormenting us.”

Then smoke bombs and firecrackers were thrown into the store, alarming customers. Ismail was in the store at the time.

“As I’m sitting, I heard the noise and thought it was a gunshot,” she said. “I see the torment they are putting my mother through and they’re laughing and filming it.”

Following the incident, Ismail called the police. She claims the young vandals returned later that night and that’s when she decided to post surveillance footage of the suspects throwing the items into the store.

“We get private calls saying to drop the case,” she said. “They said, it’s not that big a deal. I’m shocked by the reaction and the families don’t even reach out to say something as simple as ‘I’m sorry.’”

On June 22, Councilmember Justin Brannan wrote on Darn Donuts official Facebook page, “I spoke with the fantastic owners of Darn Donuts yesterday and we are working with NYPD on this.”

Ismail also received letters from witnesses describing the suspects as being in the sixth to ninth grade, and stating they’ve seen the teens harassing other establishments.

“Some customers would chase these kids,” she said. “We want to press charges.”

She also worries for her mother’s well being.

“I’m so worried about my mom,” she said. “I can’t focus. I call her every five seconds. We need help.”

Photos courtesy of Darn Donuts
Surveillance images of the incident.

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