An arrest has been made following an anti-Asian hate incident in California’s East Bay over the Christmas holiday weekend.
San Ramon Police Chief Denton Carlson announced the arrest of suspect Jordan Douglas Krah in a tweet late Monday. Krah, a resident of Denver, Colorado, is facing hate crime charges and is currently being held at the Martinez Detention Center in Martinez, Calif., the chief said.
“The San Ramon Police Department strives to make all members of our community feel safe and welcome. We will continue to pursue prompt and diligent legal action against acts of hate to help create a inclusive place where all can live, work and visit,” the department said. said in a press release.
On Christmas Eve, Arine Kim and her friend Elliot Ha were eating at an In-N-Out Burger in San Ramon when they were approached by a man who accused them of racial slurs.
The couple were recording a TikTok video and trying out menu items when he approached, calling them “strange gay people”, before returning to make further bigoted remarks about their race and ethnicity.
“I personally couldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it was real, it was so random,” Ha, who initially responded with nervous, shocked humor, said to the ABC station of San Francisco KGO.
“It’s a fear reaction, so you’re nervous and you don’t know what to do in this situation, but laugh about it,” Kim said, adding that she was grateful for Ha’s humor at the time.
In the video, Ha said he had never experienced anything like this before. For Kim, however, it was an unfortunate reminder of the hate speech she’s encountered in the past.
She told KGO it was not the first time she had been attacked with racial slurs and epithets.
In the video, Kim said the man watched them from outside the restaurant for a moment, prompting them to be escorted by fast food restaurant staff to the parking lot for fear of being followed.
Just a few miles away in Danville, a woman named Abigail Hailili said she received similar comments on Christmas morning.
A spokesperson for the San Ramon Police Department said in a statement to ABC News Monday afternoon that the department has made significant progress in its investigation of the two incidents. It remains to be seen whether the two incidents are linked. The ministry asked for the public’s help in identifying the two perpetrators.
With an increase in violence against Asian Americans across the country, advocates have launched initiatives to make the necessary changes.
“It’s the realization that it’s real and it affects people you know, love, who are close to you,” Ha told KGO. “That’s why people are finding ways to raise awareness, because it’s an issue that matters. It’s a real thing and people need to be aware of it.”
Reported anti-Asian hate crime events in the state increased an alarming 177.5% from 2020 to 2021, according to the California Department of Justice’s California Hate Crime Report. report, released in June. Many other incidents not to be reported.