A Filipina woman was allegedly subjected to racism after asking a boutique employee in Forest Hills, Queens, about their pricing and return policy.
Bea Cruz, 25, a full-time nurse, visited Maiko around 10:30 a.m. on Friday when a male employee suddenly started speaking in a racist manner and became aggressive towards her, according to CBS New York.
“He turn around and blew up at me. ‘You talk too much. This is not China; this is America,’” Cruz told Kiran Dhillon of CBS2 on Sunday. “I got triggered because that’s racist.”
Cruz attempted to persuade the employee, but he continued with his aggression and tried to rip the clothes from the woman’s hands.
“He’s like, ‘Gimme, gimme, you can’t buy this.’ Still, at this moment, I was saying, I will buy this. Just don’t say this to me,’” she recalled.
Cruz decided to film the incident when things escalated further.
She told Dhillon that she backed away as the man grabbed hold of a metal hanger, and then “whipped me with the romper he had in his hand.”
Cruz said she never had any negative encounters with the same employee during previous visits.
The employee denied what happened and said that Cruz was being disruptive. The owner of Maiko refused to give a comment on the matter.
Cruz is grateful to the elected officials for tackling the anti-Asian hate crimes in the city. She hopes other community members would also speak out when they encounter such incidents.
Cruz plans to file an official police report.
New York saw an increase of 223% in Asian hate crimes for the first quarter of 2021. Police received 42 reports of bias crimes, up from the 13 incidents recorded from the same period last year.
Featured Image via CBS New York