CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - Central Market, a Nepali-Indian grocery store on Albemarle Road in East Charlotte, reopened Friday after being closed for more than a month following an arson and vandalism that police labeled a hate crime last month.
On April 6, police say the front door at the store was torched and a rock was thrown through the window. Investigators said it was a hate crime.
Police later arrested Curtis Flournoy saying he tried to burn the place down and left a note threatening to torture the owner if he didn't leave town.
“I got a bunch of letters in my mailbox, ‘Be strong. We are with you. We will help you” said store owner Kamal Dhimal.
Dhimal was a refugee from Bhutan who became a U.S. citizen.
He was determined to repair and reopen his store even though the crime made him worry about his safety and that of other immigrant businesses. Dhimal wanted to reopen in the same spot he’s been for years.
“I want to do something by standing in this building to this community. I want to help this community.”
On Friday, reopening day, the store was busy, the mood hopeful, and the message uplifting.
Durga Pradhan, Dhimal’s brother, said, “We are a very peace-loving people, so we don’t want any crimes. We don’t hate each other. We live in peace. That is what we do.”