Molotov cocktail thrown at Houston restaurant

By Sophia Beausoleil - Reporter

HOUSTON - The owner of Habanera and the Guero in southeast Houston hopes investigators can catch the person who threw a Molotov cocktail at her restaurant overnight.

Vanessa Lomeli and her husband Ben opened the Tex-Mex restaurant, located at 9902 Gulf Freeway, four years ago.

She said they’ve encountered robberies before, but never a bomb.

“You can obviously see the soot. They threw it this way,” explained Loemli as she stood by the soot-stained window.

"It was scary on a different level. We've had people break in before, we've had vandalism before, but somebody made a bomb and tried to burn our building down,” Lomeli said. “Luckily, they didn’t hit it hard enough to break the window, but it could have been catastrophic.”

A surveillance image from a neighboring business showed what appears to be a fireball outside the side of her business. The time stamp on the picture says 3:33 a.m., but she said it was actually 2:33 a.m.

At the bottom left, a person is seen walking away.

Lomeli said she recently had a disgruntled employee she fired but said that’s only speculation and doesn’t know who threw the Molotov cocktail.

“We’re looking at any possibility. It’s just not something that we can let go, like other robberies. This could have killed somebody,” Lomeli said.

She said arson investigators and Houston police were able to collect evidence from the scene, including several large footprints and a green beer bottle.

If anyone knows who vandalized the building, call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477). Submissions are anonymous and you could receive a cash reward if someone is arrested and convicted.

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