A Korean-owned convenience store in Charlotte, North Carolina was left in ruins after a man trashed its premises while yelling anti-Asian slurs last week.
The incident, which was caught on surveillance video, occurred at Plaza Sundries near the Charlotte Transit Center on March 30.
In the video, the suspect, who appears to wield a metal post, is seen coming into the store, pulling a rack of goods to the floor and trying to break the glass on refrigerators.
Shortly after, another man — presumed to be the suspect’s friend — allegedly showed up to cheer him on.
The suspect, identified as 24-year-old Xavier Rashee Woody-Silas, was immediately arrested. He was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, communicating threats, disorderly conduct, injury to personal property and resisting a public officer.
Mark Sung, 35, whose parents own the store, claimed that the suspect’s friend returned when his parents closed the shop to clean the aftermath. Sung said the friend began harassing his mother and was “making these sexual poses again and telling her to do these sexual acts.”
The friend allegedly returned to harass his parents again on Thursday.
Sung and his brother have been helping their parents, who are now in their 60s, run the business since they were teens. He said the store gets trashed at least once a year, costing them between $5,000 and $9,000 each time.
“When my husband got the call [about the attack], it was like a routine,” Sung’s wife, Grace Lee Sung, told the Associated Press. “He was like, ‘Okay, check the mess. See the surveillance. File the (police) report.’”
As COVID-19 swept across the U.S., the owners have continued to work 13 hours a day, seven days a week.
While Sung says his family members have dealt with racism all their lives, the pandemic only made it worse.
“(My parents) put food on our tables, so they go into work with positive attitudes every day, but they just get beat down every day with daily situations,” he told the Charlotte Observer.
He added that his father ended up in the hospital twice after being physically attacked by robbers around October and November last year.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by a relative to help the family recover from their losses. As of this writing, it has raised more than $41,000, exceeding its original $5,000 goal.
“Some of you are family members. Some of you are friends. But, most of you are complete strangers,” the Sung family wrote. “We are eternally grateful for each and every one of you. We want you to know what your kindness has meant to us and how your actions completely turned the story around for us. We will tell our children and our children’s children.
“And, this will be the point. Not what started it, but what came of it.”
Sung says his parents are now “doing better.” It’s unclear whether the suspect’s friend will be prosecuted for the alleged harassment.
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