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Report: Anti-AAPI hate crimes in Orange County continued to surge in 2021

  • According to a new report from the Orange County Human Relations Commission, the county recorded 398 hate crimes and incidents in 2021, a 6% increase from the 375 hate incidents in 2020.
  • Hate crimes against Asian/Pacific Islander victims in 2021 registered a 43% increase from the year before, while hate incidents against the group saw a 164% increase from 2020.
  • The 22 recorded hate crimes against LGBTQ-plus people in 2021 registered an 83% spike from the previous year.
  • A state attorney general’s report released earlier this year revealed that anti-Asian hate crimes rose across California in 2021 to about 177% from 2020, the worst level since the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Racially charged hate crimes and incidents in Orange County, California, saw a significant increase last year, a new report from the OC Human Relations Commission revealed. 

In 2021, the county recorded 97 hate crimes and 301 incidents that failed to get criminal charges. While there were more hate crimes reported in the county in 2020 at 112, there were fewer incidents at 263. 

Misprinted UC Irvine sweatshirt pulled from Costco becomes sought-after item among students

  • Less than a day after Costco pulled a misprinted UC Irvine sweatshirt from shelves, it has become a sought-after item for many of the campus’ students and alumni.
  • The sweatshirts for the University of California, Irvine, which were being sold at three Costco locations in Orange County, misspelled the school’s name as “UC Urvine Anteaters.”
  • Following the mistake, the merchandise was immediately removed.

After Costco released misprinted UC Irvine sweatshirts and removed them from stores in less than a day, students and alumni are now seeking to purchase the defective merchandise.

The sweatshirts designed for the University of California, Irvine, which were being sold at three Costco locations in Orange County, misspelled the school’s name as “UC Urvine Anteaters.” After recognizing the mistake, the Costco stores “took immediate action to have [the sweatshirts] removed.”

Orange County meal prep business owner and daughter disables alleged thief with a table

  • Chef Carol Garnier and her daughter Mary Dao successfully thwarted a man who allegedly tried to steal from their meal prep business in Westminster, California, on Sunday.
  • Surveillance video obtained by ABC7 News shows the moment the alleged thief entered Prepped With Love and headed straight for their fridges.
  • The mother-and-daughter duo are seen springing into action, pulling a large table to corner the man and preventing him from advancing behind the counter.
  • Police reportedly described the man as a known transient.

A chef and her daughter running a meal prep business in Westminster, California, successfully thwarted an alleged thief with a large table on Sunday.

Chef Carol Garnier, who owns Prepped With Love at 14250 Beach Boulevard, said the man entered their business at around 7:45 p.m., just after the last customer left.

California church mass shooter charged with hate crimes, faces death penalty

  • Hate crime enhancements have been added to five attempted murder charges against David Wenwei Chou, the Las Vegas man accused of opening fire at the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, on May 15.
  • Handwritten notes showed that Chou, 68, was “upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan,” according to authorities. Ahead of the shooting, he sent a document titled “Diary of an Angel Destroying Independence” to World Journal, a Chinese-language newspaper.
  • Chou was born and raised in Taiwan after his family was forced out of mainland China. Those who knew him said his life was going south ahead of the shooting.
  • If convicted of his crimes, Chou will be eligible for the death penalty.

The Las Vegas man accused of firing multiple rounds at the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, last month has been charged with hate crimes, prosecutors announced on Friday.

David Wenwei Chou, 68, allegedly opened fire at the Geneva Presbyterian Church in the 24000 block of El Toro Road just before 1:30 p.m. on May 15, targeting congregants during a luncheon held in honor of a former pastor visiting from Taiwan.

Orange County doctor John Cheng remembered for his heroism at Taiwanese church shooting

  • John Cheng, a 52-year-old sports medicine doctor, was brutally shot during a mass shooting at a Laguna Woods church on Sunday.
  • He was hailed as a hero for intervening and tackling the gunman, 68-year-old David Chou.
  • Cheng’s quick actions allowed some congregants to step in and hogtie the suspect. He was reportedly shot several times and pronounced dead at the scene.
  • The shooting, which was described as a “politically-motivated hate incident” by officials, is currently being investigated as a hate crime.
  • Chou is being held on a $1 million bail at the Orange County Intake Release Center.

A doctor in Orange County, California, who was brutally shot during a mass shooting at a Laguna Woods church on Sunday was hailed as a hero for intervening and stopping the gunman.

John Cheng, a 52-year-old sports medicine doctor, immediately sprang into action to tackle the gunman, 68-year-old David Chou, before attempting to disarm him on Sunday.

Suspect in California church mass shooting was motivated by hate against Taiwan, police say

  • The fatal shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Southern California is now being investigated as a hate crime, authorities said on Monday.
  • David Wenwei Chou, 68, reportedly drove all the way from Las Vegas and chained the church’s doors. He then filled the keyholes with superglue before pulling out a handgun and opening fire.
  • Dr. John Cheng, 52, tackled Chou and was fatally shot. While Chou was on the ground, other congregation members managed to hogtie him using extension cords.
  • Five Asian seniors were brought to the hospital after the shooting, while a sixth survivor sustained minor injuries.
  • Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes described the shooting as “a politically motivated hate incident, claiming that Chou, a U.S. citizen born in Taiwan, “was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan.”
  • During a news conference on Monday, Kristi Johnson, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, said a federal hate crime investigation is now ongoing.

A shooting at a Southern California church that killed one person and wounded five others is being investigated as a hate crime, authorities said on Monday.

The recent incident, which involved around 40 witnesses, occurred at Geneva Presbyterian Church in the 24000 block of El Toro Road in Laguna Woods just before 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Las Vegas man, 68, identified as suspect in deadly mass shooting at California Taiwanese church

California church mass shooting
  • David Wenwei Chou, 68, has been arrested for shooting multiple people at the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, on Sunday.
  • The incident, witnessed by 30 to 40 people, occurred during a lunch banquet held to commemorate a former pastor visiting from Taiwan.
  • A man in his 40s was killed during the shooting, while five others — all senior citizens of Asian descent — were wounded and brought to the hospital.
  • Chou, who is originally from Las Vegas, is being held on a $1 million bail at the Orange County Intake Release Center.

A man in his late 60s has been arrested for killing one churchgoer and wounding five others while opening fire at a church in Laguna Woods, California.

The fatal shooting, which left four of the five wounded victims with critical injuries, occurred at the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church during a lunch banquet held to commemorate a former pastor visiting from Taiwan.

Westminster park renamed after Tony Lam, the first Vietnamese American to win political office

westminster park
  • Park West Park in Westminster, California, has been renamed after Tony Lam, the first Vietnamese American elected into political office in the U.S.
  • More than 100 people, including community members and politicians, attended Tuesday’s event.
  • Lam became the first Vietnamese American to win a seat on the Westminster City Council in 1992. He was named a “true role model” and a “legend” for his contributions in helping Vietnamese immigrants obtain business licenses.
  • He fought for the construction of a senior center, and he helped make “Little Saigon” a community landmark.
  • “What you have achieved, sir, is unprecedented,” Councilman Tai Do said. “You are a pioneer. You paved the way for our generation to have a higher achievement to run for corporate office. You served with integrity.”

Park West Park in Westminster, California, has been renamed after Tony Lam, the first Vietnamese American elected to political office in the U.S. 

More than 100 people, including community members and politicians such as members of the Westminster City Council, Assemblywoman Janet Nguyen (R, CA-72) and Rep. Michelle Steel (R, CA-45) attended the May 3 event that honored the 85-year-old politician, reported the Los Angeles Times.

AAPI groups protest outside Democrat Jay Chen’s office over his remark on Rep. Michelle Steel’s accent

Jay Chen Michelle Steel
  • The founder of nonprofit group AAPI United, James Mai, marched with about 50 people, including representatives from 46 other AAPI advocacy groups, to California Democratic House candidate Jay Chen’s office last week.
  • Chen made headlines after Republicans seized on a 14-second video of him purportedly mocking his opponent Rep. Michelle Steel’s (R-Cal. 48th District) accent was posted on YouTube on April 13.
  • “Jay Chen has single-handedly mobilized a community of voters that are passionate about ensuring he never sees an office with his name on it in the halls of Congress,” RNC Spokesperson Hallie Balch said in a statement. “He can keep spewing unapologetic hate; Congresswoman Steel’s community will continue to show up for her and her proven leadership.”
  • Chen denied mocking Steel’s accent in an op-ed published on Monday.
  • Korean American Orange County Council member Tammy Kim said in a statement defending Chen: “Michelle Steel sat silently while Trump denigrated our AAPI community, yet did not hesitate to falsely attack Jay Chen, the son of Taiwanese immigrants, for political gain."

AAPI United organized a protest involving representatives from 46 other AAPI advocacy groups outside the office of California Democratic House candidate Jay Chen for purportedly mocking Rep. Michelle Steel’s (R, CA-45) accent in a video a few weeks ago.

The organization’s founder, James Mai, led around 50 people, who Mai noted were on average about 60 years old, to visit Chen in his office to directly address the candidate about his comment at an event on April 7 that his team needed an interpreter to understand the Korean American politician. 

GOP accuses Democratic house candidate Jay Chen of ‘mocking’ Korean American Rep. Michelle Steel’s accent

  • California Democratic candidate Jay Chen is being criticized for comments he made about Korean American Congresswoman Michelle Steel’s (R, CA-45) accent.
  • A clip circulating online shows Chen at a meet-and-greet last week in Fullerton, saying, "Yeah, so she just had another town hall the other day. And, umm, it's tough. We’ve transcribed it; you need an interpreter to figure out exactly what she’s saying; the more she speaks, the better for us."
  • The Republican National Committee called Chen’s comments “despicable” and “out of line.” Republican lawmakers such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-23) and South Korean-born Congresswoman Young Kim (R, CA-39) criticized the video.
  • Chen, whose parents are Taiwanese immigrants, is running against Steel to represent California’s 45th Congressional district in Orange County. Asian Americans make up the largest voting bloc in the district.
  • Chen’s campaign has yet to release a statement about the video and the criticisms of it.

Republican lawmakers are accusing California Democratic congressional candidate Jay Chen of “mocking” his opponent Korean American Congresswoman Michelle Steel’s (R, CA-45) accent.

“Yeah, so she just had another town hall the other day,” Chen says in a 14-second video uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday. “And, umm, it’s tough. We’ve transcribed it; you need an interpreter to figure out exactly what she’s saying. The more she speaks, the better for us.”

‘We are in America’: BCD Tofu House diner goes on racist rant because Apple Pay wasn’t accepted

bcd tofu house
  • A customer at a BCD Tofu House in Irvine, California, berated an employee with racist insults after they were told the restaurant did not take Apple Pay.
  • Jonny Chun, who recorded video of the incident and shared it on TikTok, told NextShark that two Caucasian men he claimed were “under the influence of something” came to dine at BCD.
  • Chun said when it was time to pay for the order, one of the customers left, while the one seen on video tried to pay with Apple Pay.
  • A server and then the manager came to say that the restaurant does not use Apple Pay, which is when the customer became frustrated and went on racist rants.

A customer at a BCD Tofu House at the Irvine Diamond Jamboree berated an employee with racist insults after he was told the restaurant did not take Apple Pay. 

Jonny Chun, who recorded a video of the incident on Tuesday at 11:43 p.m. and shared it on TikTok, told NextShark that two Caucasian men he claimed were “under the influence of something” came to dine at BCD.