A 61-year-old man has been charged with felony hate crimes after allegedly physically assaulting a Hispanic T-Mobile employee while yelling racial slurs at her and her Asian co-worker in Cupertino, California, last week.
Prosecutors said the June 1 incident started when Clifford Stewart, 61, removed a T-Mobile sign leading to the store on Stevens Creek Boulevard and tossed it into the street. A Hispanic employee, 38, and her Asian coworker, 33, both witnessed the incident and left the store to retrieve the sign.
That’s when Stewart began to scream racial epithets, prosecutors said. Stewart allegedly yelled “[Expletive] Chinese, you don’t belong here,” and “stupid Mexicans.”
The violence began after the Hispanic employee told Stewart that she would call the police.
“He attacked the Hispanic woman, kicked her in the stomach, punched her in the face. She temporarily lost her vision. She was taken to the hospital,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a news release.
The Asian employee reportedly intervened, forcing Stewart to flee to a nearby sports store. He was arrested shortly after.
However, he also threatened to kill the arresting deputy, Rosen said. “All you piece of [expletive] people sneak into this country, have a baby, and get a free apartment,” he allegedly stated.
Stewart has been charged with assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, hate crimes and vandalism. He is also facing a charge for threatening the deputy, whom he also allegedly called “a Mexican [expletive].”
Rosen said there is no place for hate in the community.
“Hate crimes send an ugly and ignorant message to our community that certain people are not welcome here. My response is that I will do everything in my power to hold criminal racists accountable in court,” Rosen said. “Hate is not welcome here.”
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.