MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KRON) – Authorities have charged a woman a California woman with a hate crime after she spit on an Asian man having lunch and told him to go back to “where you came from.”
According to officials, 39-year-old Karen Marie Inman of Greenbrae faces possible jail time if she is convicted of the misdemeanor and a charge of battery.
The incident happened Feb. 13 in the area near Castro and Villa in downtown Mountain View.
Officials said the 36-year-old victim was eating outside with a friend when Inman, unprovoked, approached him and spat on him.
Authorities said Inman then used an ethnic slur, telling him to go back to “where you came from.”
Inman then reportedly began to approach other people of Asian descent in the area, according to someone also eating in the area, who then called police. It’s not known how Inman spoke with the other people she was approaching.
“Our community stands together against any hatred and racism against the Asian Pacific Islander community,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “It is ignorant. It is wrong. And when it is criminal – those who are charged will face the full power of my Office to hold them accountable.”
This is the latest in a recent wave of apparent hate crimes against the Asian-American community across the U.S.
A rash of crimes victimizing elderly Asian Americans in the past two months has renewed outcry for more attention from politicians and the media.
Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed off on legislation allocating $1.4 million to Stop AAPI Hate and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.
The funding will go toward community resources and further tracking of anti-Asian hate incidents.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.