Local News

Deputies investigating hate-fueled arson attempt at Coffee Break

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Coffee Break arson attempt vo

Someone tried to burn down the Coffee Break stand at 1612 N. Barker in Spokane Valley Monday night, leaving behind a clearly hateful message in the parking lot.

The owners of the coffee stand came into their shop Tuesday morning and their noses were immediately filled with the smell of gas. They called Avista thinking they had a leak, but then the owners found someone poured gasoline along the side of their shop and tried to set it on fire.

The day after the nation celebrated Martin Luther King Jr., the man who taught us not to judge each other by race, someone still didn't get the message, spray painting "Go Back To China" in the parking lot of the Coffee Break.

"It can happen even now, it's still happening," co-owner Diana Na said.

Na likes to point out they're actually Korean, and she also pointed out what she saw next.

"I'm assuming they were trying to start a fire with the spray paint," she said, pointing out the same red paint and charred paper.

"There was gasoline all around the building. They used an arson dog to determine that," she added.

Na opened the stand with her sister last summer and since then have developed a base of loyal, happy customers, who were universally disgusted when they found out what had happened.

"Just one person just kind of discouraged us, all this hard work that we've been putting into," Na said.

The sisters say their stand hasn't been targeted before, but their parents have in the past at their business. They were especially surprised this happened because the shop is in a residential neighborhood.

"Sad that in this day and age we have racism and hatred like this in our community," customer Heather Gust said.

Fire marshals and deputies collected evidence and samples of the accelerant they discovered, signs of an attempted arson and potential hate crime.

The Na sisters are hoping surveillance video will catch the suspect so they can wake up from this nightmare and get back to living their dream.

"No this wouldn't put us down. No. We're going to keep on going. We're going to do what we can, do our best," Na said.

The suspect could face a second degree arson charge or a malicious harassment charge. Deputies are asking people if they saw anything last night around the coffee stand to call Crime Check at 456-2233.