An Asian man ended up with bruises, a lacerated lip and a missing front tooth after getting punched out of nowhere in Washington, D.C.
The incident, which left Mintaro Oba bleeding on the ground, occurred on Wisconsin Avenue near Cleveland Park just after 1 p.m. on March 1.
Someone suddenly punched Oba in the face, knocking him to the ground. He said the individual also yelled aggressively before walking away.
“I suddenly felt a sucker punch to the side,” Oba told WUSA9. “I was knocked to the ground and found myself bleeding from my mouth with a lacerated lip and loss of a front tooth.”
Oba, who is of Japanese descent, is unsure whether the attack was racially motivated. He suspects it may also be related to mental health issues.
Nonetheless, Oba has been following the news on the recent surge in anti-Asian violence. His own experience also prompted him to be more vigilant.
“I used to take long walks and let myself get out of my mind a little. But now, I’m very aware of who and what are in my surroundings,” Oba told WUSA9.
Similar incidents have occurred in Wisconsin Avenue in the past month. But it’s unclear if they are connected to Oba’s case.
Dozens of rallies denouncing Asian hate crimes took place Saturday in cities across the U.S. Beyond Washington D.C., others were held in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Seattle, according to ABC.
Feature Images via Mintaro Oba / WUSA 9