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Suspect Arrested After High School Teacher’s Nose, Teeth Damaged in Seattle Chinatown Attack

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    A suspect who is accused of hitting a Japanese high school teacher in the face with a hard object inside a sock in Seattle Chinatown has been arrested.

    Seattle police said Thursday that Sean Jeremy Holdip, 41, was arrested in connection with the assault and was being held at the King County Jail, KOMO News reported. It’s unclear if bond has been set.

    The incident, which was caught on surveillance video, happened while Noriko Nasu and her boyfriend, Michael Poffenbarger, were walking near 7th and King Streets around 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 25, NextShark previously reported.

    Image Screenshot (labeled) via KOMO News

    The man then attacks Poffenbarger as Nasu falls to the ground.

    “I truly believe he was trying to kill us,” said Poffenbarger. “He hit her so hard (and) he hit me really really hard. I was amazed at how hard he hit my head and it didn’t knock me out. I thought for sure, I had a skull fracture.”

    Nasu suffered a fractured nose and chipped teeth.

    “While police have not yet found evidence indicating the February attack was racially-motivated, the Seattle Police Department Bias Crimes Unit is investigating the incident,” the department said in an online post.

    Poffenbarger also required eight stitches after being struck in the head.

    “I’m very very happy the police made it happen,” he said. “I won’t feel like it’s someone I pass or around the corner everywhere I go. I hope his arrest will help that stress fade.”

    Poffenbarger believes the assailant singled out his girlfriend.

    “It was very very deliberate and really focused on her,” he said. “He definitely targeted her (and) hit her first. She got the most injury out of it. It was a pointed attack on her.”

    Good Samaritans witnessed the incident and intervened.

    “If those people didn’t come out of the restaurant, if he didn’t feel the pressure of me calling for help, I don’t think he would have given up until we were dead,” said Poffenbarger.

    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.

    Feature Image via Screenshots via KOMO News (right) and KIRO 7 News (left)

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