SEATTLE -- Police arrested a man following a rash of verbal attacks against people of Asian descent this past week. Police have said it appears the racist comments are related to the pandemic.
The arrest came after Seattle Police got several calls about an Asian couple walking with groceries, when a man started screaming racial slurs at them, and even charging at them, causing a witness to intervene and help the couple run away.
"I was 100% sure he was going to hurt us," one of the victims told police.
According to court documents, investigators believe the man they arrested may be tied to a similar harassment case. The suspect, now in custody, recently completed mandatory mental health treatment to resolve previous crimes he was charged with.
Staff at Thai Thani Kitchen say the abuse is hitting anyone of Asian descent.
"It was really quiet and I heard someone open the door and I went to say hi because I thought it was a customer coming," says Tonya Mccab, an employee of the restaurant.
Tonya and another female employee were working Friday night when a man came in and confronted the women. "He said, 'Are you Chinese?' I said no, and he kept yelling 'go back to China.'"
Tonya says while she's known the pandemic has spurred racism, she never thought she'd see it happen in Seattle, her home, where she felt safe.
"I never thought it would happen to me," she says.