Earlier this year, I reported on the hate crime murder of 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an engineer shot and killed at a bar in Olathe, Kansas by a man who yelled “Get out of my country!” moments before pulling the trigger. The shooting left Kuchibhotla dead and his co-worker — with whom he was enjoying happy hour drinks — critically injured; a third bystander who attempted to stop the crime, was also hurt.
Afterwards, the killer — 51-year-old Adam Purinton — fled the scene of the crime and was later apprehended nearly 70 miles south at an Applebee’s, where Purinton had boasted of killing two Iranians. After he was arrested, Purinton faced federal hate crime charges; he currently awaits trial on those charges.
Heartbreakingly, Purinton didn’t just take the life of Srinivas Kuchibhotla that night in February; the shooting also placed Kuchibhotla’s widow — Sunayana Dumala — at risk of deportation. Dumala, who was born in India, worked as a developer for InTouch Solutions; however, her residency status was linked to her husband’s H-1B visa. When Kuchibhotla was murdered in February, Dumala’s residency permit was terminated and she became at risk of deportation.
Just six months after University of Southern California’s student body president — who is Asian American — was victimized by a racial epithet, another incident of anti-Asian racism has rocked the campus. Yesterday, USC sophomore Ivan Tsang posted to his Facebook describing an ugly incident of racism he endured early Sunday morning. Tsang writes that while he was sitting by the outdoor fireplace of Cardinal Gardens — an on-campus townhouse-style housing complex — someone yelled a racist and homophobic phrase at him from an upper-level balcony, and tried to hit him repeatedly with eggs.
New York Police Department officers are searching for a suspected arsonist in a Thanksgiving day attack on a local Queens-area home. Surveillance video footage captured a figure entering the front yard of the Queens home at 89th street and 80th avenue, and setting fire to nearly 40 Hindu prayer flags, leaving behind a pile of charred debris.
Last July, 24-year-old USC graduate student in engineering, Xinran Ji, was walking home to his apartment after a late-night study session when he was brutally accosted by a group of unknown strangers just a few hundred feet off-campus, and beaten bloody with a baseball bat and a wrench in an attempted robbery. Ji survived the initial attack and stumbled to his apartment with multiple internal injuries, where his roommate found him dead in his bed the following morning.
Now, three teenagers — Jonathan Del Carmen, 19; Alberto Ochoa, 17; and Alejandra Guerrero, 16 — are standing trial for murder. Two additional teenagers were also arrested in the incident, but one — 19-year-old Andrew Garcia — is currently awaiting a hearing to determine his mental competency, while the other unnamed teenaged girl is not being charged with Ji’s murder because officials say she was not involved in the attack; she was instead charged with robbery for a crime committed later in the night.
Caught this in my news alerts this morning: Tuesday morning, a 4-year-old girl and her father were shopping along with the girl’s mother at a San Jose-area Walmart when Maria Garate, 20, allegedly approached them and hit the child over the head with a metal object believed to be either a wrench or a tire iron.
The girl’s father intervened when the woman tried to take a second swing at the child, and was hit instead.
Walmart security detained Garate, and she was later arrested and arraigned on Thursday afternoon, charged with one count of attempted murder with a deadly weapon and one count of assault; both charges have hate crime enhancements.
Police say that based on interviews with the suspect that they have evidence to conclude the attack was racially motivated.