The Mountain View Police Department (MVPD) arrested a 39-year-old woman connected to a string of anti-Asian hate crimes last month, where she made racially-charged comments and spat on one of the Asian victims.
Karen Inman was arrested around 11 a.m. on March 5 for attempting to steal candy and ice cream from a Smart and Final in East El Camino Real, according to Mountain View Police
. Investigators also discovered her connection to two anti-Asian incidents last month.
Authorities accuse Inman of trying to steal merchandise from a market in Castro Street on Feb. 13. She allegedly took food and clothing and refused to pay for them because of the victim’s Asian ethnicity.
She was detained minutes later, but while interviewing her, they were told of another call about an incident with the perpetrator matching Inman’s description. The woman was allegedly connected to a battery incident at a downtown restaurant that same day.
Inman allegedly yelled at and made racial comments at two patrons, one of whom was Asian. She was also accused of spitting at the male victim.
“At the time our officers interviewed both the victims of the theft and of the battery, neither party desire prosecution,” Mountain View Police said. “Because neither crime was witnessed by our officers, Inman was released.”
Even after her release, the MVPD continued with its investigation. Officials at the District Attorney’s Office reviewed the case and concluded Inman could face hate crime charges.
The police report also stated there was no indication Inman made racially charged comments during the recent theft. She is currently being held at the Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of petty theft, robbery, and two counts of violation of civil rights by force or threat.
“This case is both disheartening and disturbing. Mountain View is a vibrant community in many ways thanks to the diversity that exists here,” Chief Chris Hsiung said in a statement. “Hate crimes have not and will not be tolerated in Mountain View and as this case demonstrates, we take these crimes seriously and will investigate them to the fullest extent.”
Do you have a hate incident to report? Help us document the recent rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans by going to STOP AAPI HATE to report an incident. Please stay safe out there.
Featured Image via MVPD