A woman shopping in Orange County, California has become the latest target of anti-Asian racism amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The incident, which was caught on video, reportedly occurred outside a Sephora store at The Market Place in Tustin and Irvine.
In the video posted on Instagram and Reddit, a man can be seen hurling anti-Asian racial slurs while a female companion sarcastically says “bye” to the camera.
The Asian woman reportedly recalled how the incident started inside the store after the staff asked the pair to wear face masks.
“These people were standing after me in the line at Sephora. They didn’t have masks on before the staff requested so. But then [they] refused to keep social distancing from me. Sephora staff was doing a good job directing me to stand in another line,” a Nextdoor user, who claims to be the woman behind the camera, wrote.
The woman eventually finished shopping and returned to her car. That’s when the pair followed and began making racist remarks.
“Why don’t you stay at home? Are you that dumb? You want to photograph me?” the man says before charging toward the woman, who then retreats in her car.
“Exactly! Get in your car, stupid g**k. Go back to f**king [unintelligible].”
The man returns to his Jeep and continues his tirade before driving away.
“Are you really that stupid? You know that recording doesn’t do anything,” he tells the woman. “Stay home. And thanks for giving my country COVID. Have a great day.”
Instagram users via @asianswithattitudes immediately worked to identify the man. Many users shared the Instagram account of an Irvine-based personal fitness trainer.
NextShark reached out to the Instagram account associated with the fitness trainer to confirm their involvement in the incident — the Instagram account was deactivated soon after.
NextShark also reached out to the business website and Facebook account associated with the fitness trainer but has not received a response as of this writing.
In an update on Nextdoor, the woman reached out to Tustin Police, which explained: “1. words is out of frustration 2. Police was not there as a witness (regardless of the video I took) 3. Police can’t talk to them face to face because of COVID 4. Even though I have the license plate, a friend could have borrowed the car.”
Tustin Police said that if the couple continues to harass her, she can call the police and give the incident number.
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