Asian American woman sues elderly neighbor for racial harassment, indecent exposure to her and her son

Racial harassment from neighbor

An Asian American woman in Shoreline, Washington state has filed a civil lawsuit against a 72-year-old neighbor who allegedly threatened her life earlier this year.

What happened: Thi Pham was planting flowers in her garden on April 5 when she found her neighbor, Jan Myers, staring at her from inside her car. Scared of what Myers might do, she took out her phone and started filming the scene.

  • Pham is Vietnamese American. In the video, Myers can be heard yelling “Come on out, you slant eye!” and “Hey, Miss Vietnam, hey!”
  • As if yelling racial slurs was not enough, Myers then told Pham, “You’re not going to live very long.” Pham considered it a threat and called the police.
  • For that incident, Myers was arrested and charged with a hate crime. But she was soon released by a judge, without bail, on personal recognizance and with an order that she should not contact Pham, according to KOMO News. She has already violated the no-contact order, Pham’s attorney has stated. 

Not the first time: Pham and her husband, William Healy, moved into their Shoreline neighborhood some four years ago. Since then, Myers has allegedly harassed Pham for being Asian.

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  • Two weeks before April’s encounter, Myers at one point allegedly yelled racial slurs, took off her pants and exposed herself to Pham and her 2-year-old son. Pham also managed to film that incident in part, according to KIRO 7.
  • The family reported the incident to authorities, but Myers was not charged. A spokesperson from the Shoreline Police Department said that officers declined to pursue the case as it would be hard to prove her “intent,” according to KING 5.
Jan Myers. Image via Shoreline Police Department

The latest: Pham is seeking at least $100,000 for emotional damages in her civil lawsuit filed this week. Her family also wants a permanent protective order against Myers.

  • “My life is not safe every single day,” Pham said at a news conference on Tuesday. “I hope what happened to me does not happen to other people. I hope it stops. That’s what I want.”
  • The suit wants Myers to keep a distance of no less than 300 feet from the family. However, court documents show that their homes are separated only by 60 feet.
  • In the meantime, Pham and her family are keeping their blinds drawn. They also placed “no trespassing” signs and an American flag outside their home, hoping to put an end to the racism they have endured for years by Myers.

Featured Image via KOMO News

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