A photo of the evacuated Cheesecake Factory. Photo courtesy Los Angeles County Sheriff
A photo of the evacuated Cheesecake Factory. Photo courtesy Los Angeles County Sheriff

Is the Pasadena Cheesecake Factory cursed?

Police Sunday were trying to figure out why a car crashed into the same Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Pasadena that was the earlier target of a bearded, black-clad bomb thrower.

The hunt for the mystery man who tossed a homemade pyrotechnic device into the eatery during the dinner hour Thursday was still underway when the vehicle crashed into the east wall of the same restaurant Saturday.

It wasn’t clear if alcohol of drugs were involved in the crash about 3:55 p.m. at the restaurant at 2 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena Police Lt. Mark Goodman said.

The vehicle’s driver complained of pain, Goodman said. There were no injuries inside the restaurant.

The extent of structural damage to the restaurant from the crash was not available.

The vehicle crash and the bomb throwing incident were not related, Goodman said.

Despite terrorizing dinner-hour diners who were evacuated from the restaurant in the bomb-throwing incident, police were downplaying its seriousness, calling it a more of a “prank” than a life-threatening attack.

No one was hurt in the blast.

Responding officers immediately evacuated the restaurant and located the detonated homemade pyrotechnic device, according to the Pasadena Police Department. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad also responded and rendered the device safe, police said.

“Pasadena Police detectives are currently handling the investigation and out of an abundance of caution the federal authorities have been notified,” a Pasadena police statement said. The motive is not known, police said.

Pasadena police Lt. Vasken Gourdikian told NBC4 that nothing in the investigation has suggested the incident was “anything other than a really bad prank.”

Another police spokesman said the device was a “glorified firecracker” that didn’t appear to be made to injure anyone.

Witnesses described the suspect as either Hispanic or Middle Eastern, 6 feet tall, with a thin build, a heavy beard, all black clothing and a black beanie.

Anyone with information about the explosion or the suspect was urged to call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241 or report information anonymously at lacrimestoppers.com by inserting the keyword “Pasadena.”

— City News Service

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