Santa Clara County officials revealed that a woman who allegedly spat on an Asian American man and told him to “go back to where you came from” has been charged with misdemeanor hate crime and battery.
Karen Inman, 39, is accused of attacking the man as he was eating lunch outdoors with a friend in Silicon Valley on Feb. 13, reports the LA Times.
Local authorities had earlier received a report about Inman for a separate incident on the same day, in which a woman allegedly took food and clothes from a store.
As she was stealing, the woman even told the store owners that she did not have to pay “because of their Asian ethnicity,” said Mountain View police spokeswoman Katie Nelson.
When police officers brought Inman in for questioning, they learned that she had also been accused of spitting on the Asian diner.
Authorities brought the case against Inman to prosecutors and arrested her on Friday, as NextShark previously reported. Inman, who previously lived in an unincorporated community called Greenbrae, was described as a transient.
Inman is facing a maximum penalty of one and a half years in prison for the misdemeanor hate crime and battery charges.
According to Deputy Dist. Atty. Sheryl Leung, Inman may also serve mandatory community service requirements for the hate crime charge.
Since the store owners decided not to press charges, Inman was not charged in connection with the theft.
Santa Clara County Dist. Atty. Jeff Rosen said he is committed to using the full power of his office to hold those people charged with hate crimes accountable.
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