- Two men in masks, identified as Michael Gomez and Joseph Lowe, were allegedly seen placing Pokémon cards and a pizza in a bag before walking out of a Target store in Kissimmee, Florida, last Wednesday.
- The Osceola County deputies opened fire in an attempted “takedown” of four suspects, according to a release from the sheriff’s office on Thursday, killing one of them.
- Gomez and Lowe were taken to the hospital with minor injuries and charged with petty theft.
- The fourth suspect, who was “detained on scene,” suffered a shrapnel wound, but their involvement remains unclear.
- It is not clear whether the suspects were armed or what events led to the deputies opening fire.
Osceola County deputies opened fire outside a Target store in Kissimmee, Florida, killing a man over stolen Pokémon cards and pizza.
Officers responded to a call at around 7:00 p.m. last Wednesday from the store’s loss prevention supervisor, who saw two men in masks placing Pokémon cards and a pizza in a bag before walking out, according to an affidavit written by Deputy Cole Miller.
A man was caught on surveillance camera stealing a Buddha statue from a sushi restaurant in Florida.
The unidentified man can be seen placing an order at the Sushi Sake restaurant in Cutler Bay. When the server walks away, the customer is seen grabbing the Buddha statue on the counter and walking outside to place it in his car before returning inside the restaurant.
- “Moana” voice actor Auli’i Cravalho believes that Disney needs to “step forward” and take action against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
- Disney faced harsh criticism in early March for funding campaigns of the Florida legislature members who voted in favor of the bill, including Governor Ron DeSantis.
- Florida passed the bill on March 7, enforcing a ban across public schools of instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity for students up to the third grade.
- Cravalho called out Disney for “trying to play the safe role” and suggested the company use their “power” and “money” to support the LGBTQ community.
“Moana” star Auli’i Cravalho believes that Disney can “make the most impact right now” by using their position of power to take action against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
In early March, Disney drew backlash after a report found that the company had donated a total of $249,126 to the campaigns of Florida legislature members who voted in favor of the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill, including $50,000 to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Disney also faced harsh criticism for not doing enough to protest the passing of the bill.
Former teacher rises through lavender ceiling to become first out Asian American mayor in Florida’s history
- The newly elected mayor of Boynton Beach, Ty Penserga, is the first Asian American LGBTQ plus mayor in Florida.
- Prior to being elected to the Boynton Beach commission in 2020, Penserga worked as a chemistry and biology high school teacher.
- Penserga endured multiple homophobic comments from his opponent, Bernard Wright, throughout the campaign.
- The 33-year-old defeated three other candidates with 57% of the votes, whereas Cindy Falco-Di Corrado and Golene Gordon each received 18% and Wright came in last with 6%.
In being elected Boynton Beach’s new mayor, Ty Penserga is now the first LGBTQ plus Asian American mayor in Florida history.
Penserga won against three other candidates with 57% of the votes, while Golene Gordon and Cindy Falco-Di Corrado each finished with 18% and Bernard Wright received 6% of the votes.
- Polk County, Florida, authorities are looking to extradite 39-year-old Jianchai Chen from China, where he is currently living with his wife and children.
- Chen, who has a house in Winter Haven, works at the Lucky Wok restaurant in Lake Wales when he is in the U.S.
- Investigators who searched Chen’s house found 132 photos and videos of children as young as 5 years old being sexually abused.
- Similar pornographic materials were found in the homes of four other now arrested suspects 29-year-old Kevin Hairston, 19-year-old Felipe Ortiz, 21-year-old Deamontavese Sanders and a 18-year-old high school senior Juan Valdez.
WARNING: This article includes mentions of sexual abuse of minors.
Local authorities are attempting to extradite a Florida man in China who is wanted for child porn possession.
Mimi Chan never learned about the history of Asian American and Pacific Islanders while going to school in Central Florida. She hopes to have AAPI history implemented statewide so future students will have that opportunity.
How it started: Mimi Chan, an Orlando activist and teacher at Wah Lum Kung Fu & Tai Chi Temple, published a Change petition in May to include AAPI history in Florida public schools to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month.
Florida man charged after pointing a gun, yelling anti-Asian slurs at neighbors over garbage dispute
A man accused of yelling anti-Asian slurs while threatening to kill his neighbors over a garbage dispute in Hawthorne, Fla., has been arrested and charged with assault.
What happened: Cody McClure, 19, allegedly went to his neighbors’ residence on Sunday after seeing trash dumped in his yard on 119 Twin Lakes Rd. A dispute broke out and led to the suspect pointing a gun at two people, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO).
A former nurse in Florida is facing a five-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to harassing Vice President Kamala Harris with threatening videos.
Admission of guilt: On Friday, 39-year-old Niviane Petit Phelps confessed in Miami federal court to six counts of making threats against Harris, reported Miami Herald.
A teen athlete claims the U.S. Olympic Committee is trying to stop her from representing Haiti for the Tokyo Olympics.
Taking a dream away: Taekwondo athlete Aliyah Shipman, who has been fighting and winning medals for the Haitian Taekwondo Federation for the last two years, said that U.S. Olympic officials are now questioning her eligibility and background, reported WRLN.
A ramen restaurant in Delray Beach, Fla., has been the recipient of anti-Asian vitriol from interlopers who refused to leave and take the pizza they bought elsewhere.
How it started: Ramen Lab Eatery, which sits at 25 Northeast 2nd Ave., was trying to close at 11:45 p.m. on Thursday when three white men allegedly showed up and began unstacking chairs.
A man who painted racial slurs on vehicles owned by an Asian American family in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., received sentences for his hate crimes this week.
What he did: Kyle Christiansen, 34, spray-painted the family’s cars with the words “Die G**k Rat” and “G**k R***rd Rat” and placed nails on their driveway on July 29, 2020.
A young Asian American woman in Davie, Fla., has become the target of racist cyberbullying after she applauded “Middle Eastern peers” for making it through high school in her graduation speech.
What she said: Rachel Cheng, this year’s salutatorian of Western High School, used her time on stage on June 8 to address the struggles faced by Asian Americans and other minorities to get to graduation.