By Ruth Bayang
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
The Seattle Police Department has arrested a 41-year-old man in connection with a Feb. 25 assault on a young Asian near 7th and King streets in the Chinatown-International District.
One of the victims posted on her personal Facebook page, “This individual followed me and attacked with what seemed like a rock in a sock. It hit me in the face and I fell unconscious. I woke up to find myself suffocating in my own blood in the mask and saw the guy hit my boyfriend in the head and keep charging at us until people around us came to help.”
The victim said she and her boyfriend spent the night in the emergency room at Harborview Medical Center.
“I have fractures in my nose and teeth, and my boyfriend’s got 8 stitches in the head,” her post stated.
The C-ID Community Night Watch—a program that started last year soon after the pandemic began—is considering starting an escort volunteer program to help Asian seniors. A similar effort is ongoing in Oakland, California where more than 300 volunteers escort fearful elders on their walks and errands.
The King County Prosecutors released data on March 2 showing Seattle as among the cities with the highest hate crime numbers, and attribute more victims reporting the crimes and a designated bias crimes detective dedicated to working these cases.
In 2019, there were 39 reported hate crimes in King County, and in 2020, the total number jumped significantly to 59. For the start of 2021, there have been seven cases already—two of them involve attacks on Asian Americans.
“What we’re seeing nationally is Asian American communities are getting attacked at an increasingly alarming rate based on the negative thoughts that Asian Americans are more likely the reason… why COVID is spreading,” King County Deputy Prosecutor Leandra Craft said during a call with the news media on March 2.
The national coalition “Stop AAPI Hate” said between March 2020 (when it began keeping data) and the end of the year, it received 2,080 reports of anti-Asian hate nationwide, and identified Washington as one of the top states, at just over 4% of reports.
Ruth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.