The Seattle Police Department is asking for the public’s help to identify a man who attacked an Asian couple in downtown Seattle over the weekend amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The unidentified man attacked an Asian couple walking on Virginia Avenue between 4th and 5th streets around 4:15 p.m. on May 16, according to KIRO7.
In the surveillance footage, the attacker can be seen shoving the male victim, unprovoked, while passing each other on the street. The force used knocked the victim’s face mask and glasses off. When confronted, he then spat on the victim’s face, allegedly saying, “It’s all your fault,” before running away.
The couple walked to West Precinct to report the attack. The male victim only suffered minor injuries to his hand.
“It’s always a gut punch to hear. Anytime there’s xenophobia, racism,” President and CEO of International Community Health Services (ICHS), Teresita Batayola, said. “I definitely believe the numbers are much higher than what’s been reported. People are really nervous and afraid.”
I’ve yet to experience racism like this during the pandemic. I’m lucky – many Asian Americans are not.
This man shoves the victim’s face, spits on him, & tells the couple “It’s all your fault.”
SPD is investigating this as a bias crime & asking for your help to ID the suspect. pic.twitter.com/rblS6pEW1B
— Deedee Sun (@DeedeeKIRO7) May 21, 2020
The Seattle Police Department is reportedly investigating the case as a bias crime. Anyone with information can call the Bias Crimes Unit at 206-233-5000.
SPD’s Bias Crimes Unit is hoping you can help identify a man who attacked a couple in downtown Seattle: https://t.co/Kb4f8W0Jiq pic.twitter.com/H8FEUOoGGH
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) May 20, 2020
Since March 10, this attack is confirmed as the seventh bias incident report against Asian Americans. The SPD is investigating another incident that occurred at a Home Depot last week.
Batayola is encouraging anyone to report such incidents to the police.
“These reprehensible acts are continuing because we are continuing in a very heightened time in terms of people’s fears of the disease itself,” she said. “And mental health is a big issue. So you’ve got compounding issues that are happening. Being isolated, having to stay at home. It basically, it adds up to try to find somebody to blame.”
Feature Image via Seattle Police Department