Vandals cause thousands in damage at St. Roch Market

Vandals cause thousands in damage at St. Roch Market

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Angela Brister used a pressure washer in a previous job, but she never thought those skills would come in handy at the St. Roch Market.

That's how she spent Friday morning at work, blasting pink paint off the building.

"We all got to pull together and get it back together," Brister said.

Someone splattered paint all over the 19th Century market and took a hammer to 18 windows. Mayor Mitch Landrieu got a firsthand look at the damage.

"It's a damn shame," he said. "This particular project, as are many, was one where the whole neighborhood came together, and the folks that came and ruined this, they hurt the neighborhood."

The vandals also wrote messages in spray paint, messages that Kayti Williams, a vendor at the market, takes personally.

"Like come get to know me, come get to know the people inside the walls," said Williams, who runs Koreole. "I don't see this as just one collective We are a collective, but it's not a corporation. We're not here to take over and dominate. I'm a part of this community, you know what I'm saying?"

Surveillance cameras line the outside of the market, aimed in every direction. Owner/operator Barre Tanguis said video shows three men and two women all hitting the building at the same time.

New Orleans Police now have that footage.

Tanguis thinks the damage will top $10,000.

"Most of the vendors live here in this neighborhood, and so this is actually a big weekend for them," Tanguis said. "They're all small businesses getting their businesses off the ground, and it's disappointing to have to focus on cleaning up as opposed to serving good food like they usually do."

The market opened for business at its normal time Friday and had a large crowd by lunchtime.

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