In another occurrence of Asian hate crimes, one man has been arrested for allegedly attacking an Asian Couple in Orange County city, California. Twenty-five year old, Michael Orlando Viviona on Sunday after allegedly assaulting an aged Korean American couple in a park located in Southern California. He also allegedly threatened violence against a Japanese American Olympic athlete just weeks before, police said.
Viviona, who said he hates Asians, attacked a 79-year-old man and an 80-year-old woman at Grijalva Park on Sunday evening. “The couple was on one of their evening walks as they do on a regular basis at this park when our suspect approached, unprovoked, and punched both of them in the face, causing both of them to fall to the ground,” Sgt. Phil McMullin said. The couple was immediately treated at the scene and thankfully they weren't hurt. Thankfully, people who were at the park surrounded him and kept him grounded till the police arrived to arrest him. Viviona claimed he had a "hate" for Asians and the police believe the attack was racially motivated.
On April 1st, Viviona shouted at Sakura Kokumai, an Olympic athlete who was exercising at the park while preparing to represent the U.S in Karate at the summer Olympic games, police confirmed. She recorded a video of Viviona screaming at her and threatening to hurt her if she didn't go home. This story follows a rise in recent hate crimes against Asians in the U.S which includes vandalism, stealing, assaults, e.t.c Although this hate has been strongly linked to the fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
California is not new to Asian hate crimes. Discrimination against Asian groups has a long and ugly history that dates back to Chinese labourers taken advantage of during the construction of the transcontinental railroad to Japanese immigrants having their children herded off to camps during World war II.
The bloodshed has led to various support for Asian Americans and rallies condemning the hatred. Jen Hoo Lee, a 76-year-old Korean immigrant who has a faint heart rarely goes out or walks around. But with various rallies being held, she has changed that by going to the streets to speak up and voice out against the injustices going on. With signs "Stop Asian Hate" and "I am not a Virus," she marched down to Koreatown during a recent protest. “We should be united. We Asians can’t stay silent,” said Lee. “I didn’t go to the rally because I had plenty of time or because I was healthy.”
“It is wrong to think these attacks have nothing to do with me. This could happen to me or my family one day,” Lee added.
Jen Hoo Lee| apnews.com
Just recently, a Fullerton man was arrested for pelting rocks at an Asian woman and her 6-year-old son as they drove down a street in Orange County city on March 31st. Both mother and child weren't hurt but her windshield was cracked. The man told police that the Koreans in the area were trying to "control him," hence taking action against them. He has been charged with felony and pleaded not guilty.
As high schools and elementary schools are beginning to open up, Asian American parents have hit the dilemma of sending their wards back to school especially with the virus and now, rise in hate crimes and hostility. Asian American parents have expressed desire and content with having their kids continue virtual classes, especially with the school year gradually coming to an end. Asian American students have the highest rates of virtual learning across the country. Staying online hasn't spared the youths of Anti-Asian harassment. With a 25% rise, Asian American youths have been subject to cyber-bullying, physical assault, verbal abuse and discrimination.
These crimes have made the Orange County board of supervisors pass two new resolutions against crimes done to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). The Orange County Human Relations Commission said such crimes have increased 10-fold over the past year.