By Mark Forster, Daily Nexus, October 18, 1973
Hamburger Habit, a familiar diner on Pardall Road, has been the object of vandalism for the past two months.
Owner and manager Russ Burton called the vandalism “harassment” and estimated the damage at $200. Burton feels one person is responsible for the seven different attacks, but he doesn’t know why the attacks have centered on his restaurant.
“I know it’s not a student or inhabitant of the apartment houses by me,” he said. “I don’t know why, but I think this guy has just singled me out.”
Burton said the vandal has spray painted a new sign, covered the windows and screens with dog excrement, scrawled obscene messages on the sidewalk and smashed parking lot lights.
In addition to the destruction, the vandal has left two letters described by Burton as “obscene and incoherent.”
“The first letter came after the second attack and was just an obscene attack on me,” he said. “The second letter was three pages long and completely incoherent.”
Burton said the second letter suggested that he should change Hamburger Habit to a vegetarian restaurant and allow more parking to apartment house tenants in the area. He added that he was the only restaurant in the area that allows overnight parking for apartment tenants and doesn’t feel this is the reason for the attacks.
University police, I.V. Foot Patrol and county sheriffs have joined in keeping Hamburger Habit under nightly surveillance. Burton has also hired a private detective.
“The detective just missed the guy Saturday night,” Burton said. “He had gone around back to check everything and when he came back the windows were painted.”
The I.V. Foot Patrol office refused to comment on the matter, stating any conclusions on the case would be “highly speculative.”