An Asian woman in Salem, Oregon was allegedly pushed and kicked by two men in an attack now under investigation as a possible hate crime.
The incident occurred near Willamette University, where the victim, 21, is studying, around noon on March 1.
The victim was attacked on the corner of Capitol and Chemeketa streets while walking to a local Safeway store, according to Salem police.
The suspects allegedly approached and pushed the victim while making “derogatory comments” about her race.
When the victim fell to the ground, one of the suspects allegedly kicked her, according to the Statesman Journal.
Aside from making racist remarks, the suspects are also accused of making sexist comments.
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The incident reportedly left the victim with minor injuries.
In an email to the academic community, Dr. Lisa Landreman, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Willamette University, condemned the attack and acknowledged the ongoing rise in anti-Asian violence.
“It’s important to acknowledge these crimes and for all members of our community to resist ill-informed, biased perspectives about Asian people and to denounce this violence,” Landreman wrote.
Landreman told KOIN 6 News that the incident is “the first of its kind that we are aware of in Salem or at Willamette.” She added that the victim is “physically OK” but is shocked about it.
The first suspect is described to be 5 feet and 6 inches, has a big build, long curly blond hair and facial hair. He was seen in a gray v-neck shirt and black snow hat.
The second suspect is described to be 5 feet and 11 inches, has a thin build and thin brown hair. He was seen in a button-down shirt and a snow hat.
The suspects are facing second-degree bias crime and harassment charges. As of this writing, no arrests have been made.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact the Salem Police Department at 503-588-6123.
“We really want to encourage victims to contact the police,” Salem Police Lt. Debbie Aguilar said. “We really take this seriously, we want people to be held accountable. We want people to know this kind of behavior is not okay.”
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.