A 24-year-old Korean woman was brutally attacked by a Korean man with a hammer in front of a shop in LA’s Koreatown.
The violent scene, which was captured by security cameras near a business establishment in the 1000 block of South Vermont Avenue, occurred at around 6 p.m. on Friday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The footage showed the victim standing outside a store on the second floor of the outlet when she was approached by a man who spoke to her briefly, left and returned with a hammer. The woman was then hit with the hammer from behind on her head and body. She was seen in the clip trying to cover herself from the attack as she fell to the ground.
LAPD Officer Tony Im told KTLA that the Korean man had asked the woman if she was Korean, and she responded with “yes.” The man then hit her with a hammer more than 20 times.
A security guard responded to the scene after hearing the woman’s scream and with the aid of another man held the suspect down until police arrived.
The attack, which was witnessed by several people, lasted for 45 seconds. Unfortunately for the victim, no one dared to intervene during the vicious, unprovoked assault.
“I went outside and I just saw the guy hitting the lady with the hammer,” witness Karen Orellana was quoted as saying. “I was scared because that could happen to anyone here.”
The victim, who was immediately sent to a nearby hospital, sustained numerous lacerations and contusions. The woman was later released after treatment.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is reportedly filing a case of attempted murder with a hate crime enhancement against the suspect identified as Korean national Jae Won Yang who is now being held on $1.075 million bail.
According to the LAPD, the incident is being investigated as a hate crime “based on his intent to target someone based on, what we believed was her race, and/or, as well, her being a female.”