Police in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, are looking for a man accused of threatening to assault an Asian store employee while screaming racial slurs at her.
What happened: The incident allegedly occurred at Ace Alterations, a clothing repair shop near 1300 E. and Fort Union on Wednesday. The man was photographed before leaving the business.
- The man reportedly entered the store to have a button on his shirt repaired. When employee Kim asked him to repeat his request, the man allegedly started yelling racial, sexual and homophobic slurs.
- “Instead of being like a normal decent human repeating it, he just immediately turned on her and starts berating her asking why she can’t speak good English, what she is doing, why is she here, racial slurs, other swear words, stuff I’m not going to repeat,” a customer identified only as Michael told ABC 4. “You could tangibly feel the hate.”
- Police referred to the victim as the store’s business owner. After the incident, Kim told ABC 4, “My inside, still scary.”
- The man allegedly yelled “homophobic and aggressive things” at Michael when he intervened. However, the witness told KUTV that the fear he felt “pales in comparison to the fear and degradation” that Kim felt.
- The man left the store but returned moments later. Michael reportedly filmed the man saying, “Hope that car you pulled in with has air in your car when you leave [expletive].”
Description: In a tweet, Cottonwood Heights police described the suspect as a white male in his mid- to late 40s with waist-length gray hair. He stands around 5 feet and 10 inches and weighs 180 pounds.
- The image of the suspect shows him wearing a green T-shirt, a dark bottom and shades. He left the business in a black Nissan Sentra, KUTV noted.
- The owner said it was the first time she had seen the man, according to KSL. No one was injured and there was no damage to the property, Cottonwood Heights Police Sgt. JD Tazoi said.
Police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. Anyone with information is asked to call 801-944-7100.
Featured Images via Cottonwood Heights Police Department