Hayk Ghazaryan, the owner of the Russian restaurant Pushkin in American San Diego, who was guarding the place with a gun in his hands during the riots, spoke about the right to defend himself against looters.
According to him, the photo, in which he and about ten of his friends with guns are standing outside the store, was taken by one of the neighbors across the street, having signed the photo “Russian Mafia in All Weapon”. Ghazaryan himself thinks that such accusations are more of a joke and the word “mafia” no longer matters.
“A neighbor on the contrary, when he saw that we were standing-defending, saw that there were 10-12 of us there during the day, took a photo. In America, they love to say that phrase. It’s just a lot of people call it the Mafia,” said the restaurant owner.
The man said he gathers with friends every night at the restaurant and guards it to prevent looting. The American press calls self-defense units “white vigilante”, but Ghazaryan has not faced such accusations. He noted that the robbers, on the contrary, treat the armed defense with respect.
“Among them, there is such a notion: we go to rob, you defend yourself – well done, you have less chances that we will rob you. Many guys have been passing by, nodding their heads, saying, well done, doing something. There was a threat, a risk in what we were doing. But they were just shocked to see it,” added Ghazarian.
The owner of the institution also noted that protection of his property is a “matter of principle” for him. The man noted that anyone in the U.S. has the right to protect their property, especially if the police can’t do their job. According to Ghazaryan, he and his friends went out and showed their right, and nobody dared to say anything to them. He also expressed hope that everything will remain that way in the future.