Glass litters the sidewalk after vandals shatter windows on University Avenue

Valentia Coffee was one of several shops with damage
Valentia Coffee was one of several shops with damage(Tim Elliott)
Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 12:01 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -Clean-up is underway on University Avenue in downtown Madison after several businesses and buildings were targeted by vandals.

“Beyond ridiculous. If you want to make change, this is not the way to go about it,” said Troy Forler, the maintenance manger for “The James” building.

Forler was busy Wednesday morning cleaning up broken glass from several large windows that were broken overnight. Forler says four of the buildings 70 storefront glass panes were shattered.

“We have a lot of windows on this building,” he said. “We are actually surprised we haven’t been touched up to this point,”

In past demonstrations, vandals had mainly targeted businesses on State Street. But with most of those storefronts boarded up as a precaution, the damage has now spread to businesses just outside the State Street area.

Forler says he sympathizes with the movement but doesn’t believe breaking and destroying property is going to help.

“I’m frustrated, to be honest with you. I understand what the protest is all about. There’s a lot of change that’s needed and things like this that are happening is not involved in the protests. I can almost guarantee that these aren’t the people that are trying to make change. This is the kind of stuff that doesn’t help create change,”

Now business owners are worried that there might be a third night of unrest this week. That uncertainly has Forler wondering what to do next.

“Now we have to sit down to figure out do we board ‘em all up to protect ourselves? And the cost, the time, and the effort that goes into that is ridiculous,” he said. “Everybody is at risk now, no matter where you’re at around here,”

The Valentia Coffee shop, Papa John’s Pizza, Domino’s Pizza – all on University Avenue – were also hit with property damage.

Madison police say they arrested four people in connection to the violent demonstrations.

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